This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: May 26

Oakland’s Matt Keough held the Royals to three hits, as the Athletics snapped Kansas City’s four-game winning streak with a 4-1 win on Memorial Day at the Oakland Coliseum.

Just four days earlier in Kansas City, the Royals had tagged Keough for nine hits and seven runs in 3 ⅓ innings. But on this day, they had no answer for the righthander, who dropped his ERA to 2.28. The Royals only picked up one walk while striking out six times. Keough retired eight straight batters to start the game before Kansas City got its first hit and only run: U.L. Washington homered to right, his second of the season, with two outs in the third.

Royals starter Renie Martin had provided some good starts since joining the rotation in early May, but this one wasn’t quite as good. He was charged with all four runs, on six hits and two walks, in five innings. Still, he retired nine of the first 10 hitters until Oakland got their first hits in the fourth. Dwayne Murphy singled with one out and Dave Revering homered to give the A’s a 2-1 lead.

Martin recovered and pitched a scoreless fifth inning, but Murphy and Revering started the sixth with singles. Wayne Gross singled to score Murphy, and reliever Gary Christenson took over. After he walked Mitchell Page to load the bases, the Royals turned to Marty Pattin. He struck out the first man he faced but walked Jim Essian to force in a run, and then got ejected for arguing about the strike zone with home plate umpire Derryl Cousins. Paul Splittorff, in his first appearance since May 8 after he suffered back spasms, entered the game and got an inning-ending double play, but the damage was done.

Keough walked the first batter he faced after Oakland’s long bottom of the sixth, but then retired nine straight to end the game.

With the loss, the Royals fell to 24-17 on the season. They held a 1.5-game lead over Chicago in the AL West.

George Brett watch: 0-3, although he did draw a walk. Season stats: .267/.356/.509

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Jim Frey (1931), Ben Zobrist (1981)

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