A day after suffering a severe allergy attack, Larry Gura recovered to keep his strong season rolling, scattering six hits in a complete game effort as the Royals downed the White Sox, 9-2, on a Friday night at Royals Stadium.
Gura revealed after the game that the day before, he had started to mow his lawn before his allergy to grass kicked in severely enough to still affect him when he woke up Friday morning with his eyes still swollen. But it didn’t matter, as he pitched his seventh complete game and improved to 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA.
The game started off poorly for Gura, though. Jim Morrison started the first with a double and took third on a Mike Squires single. But Gura then retired the next 17 hitters, although Morrison scored on a Chet Lemon fly ball.
The Royals hitters responded, giving Gura plenty of run support with a pair of three-run innings early on. In the first, Willie Wilson led off by working a walk from Chicago starter Rich Wortham. Wilson then stole second and third and scored on U.L. Washington’s groundout. With two outs, Amos Otis walked and scored on Darrell Porter’s third homer of the season.
Kansas City then added three more runs in the third, with plenty of help from the White Sox. Washington led off with a single and stole second, although he was cut down at home when he tried to score on George Brett’s grounder, which was muffed by second baseman Morrison. Brett was safe at first and took second when Otis walked again. Porter hit a fly ball to center, but Lemon dropped it. Brett scored, while Otis took third and Porter took second. Both runners scored when John Wathan singled to center and Lemon booted that one.
The Royals tacked on one more in the fourth, as three walks loaded the bases and Otis hit a sacrifice fly. Then KC scored again in the fifth, on doubles by Willie Aikens and Frank White. And the Royals added one more in the sixth, as Washington and Brett started the inning with singles. Porter walked to load the bases. Wathan grounded into a forceout, but Washington scored to push the Royals’ lead to 9-1.
Although Lamar Johnson led off the seventh with a home run for Chicago, it didn’t matter as the game was well in hand. Gura worked around one-out doubles in the eighth and ninth to seal the win.
The Royals improved to 26-18. They increased their AL West lead to 2.5 games, now ahead of Oakland as the A’s slipped past the White Sox into second place.
George Brett watch: 2-4 with a walk. Season stats: .287/.370/.504
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198005300.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Mike LaCoss (1956), Brett Phillips (1994)