A dramatic ninth-inning rally set up a walkoff win in the 11th inning for the Royals, who slipped past Oakland 6-5 on a Monday night at Royals Stadium.
After taking a 2-0 lead in the first, the Royals were held to two hits by A’s starter Steve McCatty and reliever Bob Lacey until the ninth inning, when they came to bat facing a 5-2 deficit. John Wathan led off with a single. With one out, pinch-hitter Jerry Terrell singled and Dave Chalk doubled to drive in both runners. Reliever Jeff Jones took over, but Willie Wilson tied the game with a single that brought in pinch-runner Rusty Torres. The Royals had an excellent chance to win the game in the ninth, as U.L. Washington followed with a single, but reliever Dave Hamilton got George Brett to bounce into a fielder’s choice, with Wilson being thrown out at the plate. Darrell Porter walked to load the bases but Willie Aikens struck out and the game moved to extra innings.
Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry, who had been on the mound in the eighth when Oakland scored twice for that 5-2 lead, pitched three scoreless frames after that to get through the 11th and set up the winning rally.
Torres led off the 11th facing Hamilton and singled. After a sacrifice bunt and fly out, the A’s intentionally walked Brett. Porter, who admitted after the game he had been getting ready for a shower as the ninth inning started, made Oakland pay with the game-winning single into center field. It was the second time in three games that the opponent had intentionally walked Brett in extra innings only to have Porter deliver the game-winning hit.
Kansas City took that 2-0 lead in the first as Wilson started the inning with a single and stole second. He scored on a Brett double, and Aikens singled with two outs to drive in Brett. But McCatty settled in and gave Oakland a chance to come back.
Royals starter Dennis Leonard held the A’s scoreless for five innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in those frames. Oakland finally broke through in the sixth, as Rickey Henderson and Dwayne Murphy started the inning with singles and scored on a Wayne Gross double. Tony Armas singled with two outs to give the A’s a 3-2 lead. Reliever Marty Pattin entered the game and got the final out of the inning.
Reliever Gary Christenson was on the mound to start the eighth, but not for long after he walked Mitchell Page with one out. Quisenberry entered the game but was victimized by some poor defense. Page stole second and took third on Wathan’s throwing error. Armas reached on a bunt single and wound up on third after Aikens missed the throw. A Jim Essian single scored Armas for a 5-2 lead. It could have been worse; Mario Guerrero followed with a double, with Essian stopping at third, but Quisenberry got two groundouts to end the inning.
With the win, the Royals improved to 19-15. They also jumped into second place in the AL West, moving ahead of Oakland and Texas. Kansas City now trailed first-place Chicago by just one game.
George Brett watch: 1-5 with a walk. Season stats: .274/.371/.512
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198005190.shtml