Apparently the only thing that could slow down Chicago starter Britt Burns on this warm Sunday afternoon was the leg cramp that limited him to seven innings in the White Sox’ 6-1 victory over Kansas City at Royals Stadium.
Burns limited the Royals to five hits over his seven innings, although he did walk four. He struck out three as he improved to 7-3 (tied for the league lead in wins) and dropped his ERA to 1.60.
Kansas City’s lone run came in the second. Amos Otis led off with a walk and scored on a Darrell Porter double. Although John Wathan and Dave Chalk would also draw walks in the inning, the Royals left the bases loaded as Frank White struck out and Willie Wilson’s grounder resulted in a forceout at third.
Royals starter Dennis Leonard also escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, keeping the White Sox off the board, but wasn’t as fortunate in the third. With one out, Mike Squires doubled and took third on a wild pitch. Chet Lemon singled to tie the game at 1-1. Lamar Johnson’s grounder resulted in a forceout at second, but Johnson reached second when shortstop U.L. Washington’s throw to first was off target. Johnson scored when Bob Molinaro singled, and Chicago had a 2-1 lead.
Kansas City had chances to tie the score. George Brett doubled with one out in the third but was stranded at second. In the fourth, Wathan led off with a single and Chalk singled with one out. White hit a grounder and Chalk hustled to second, sliding in safely. However, Chalk did not realize he had beaten the throw and began walking back to the dugout. He was promptly tagged out and the Royals missed a chance to have the bases loaded with one out. Wilson grounded out and the inning was over.
Leonard had retired 13 straight entering the eighth inning, but the White Sox blew the game open by tagging him and two relievers for three runs. Squires led off with a single and was bunted to second. He reached third on a passed ball and scored when Johnson singled. With two outs, pinch-hitter Thad Bosley singled. Reliever Gary Christenson gave up an RBI single to Wayne Nordhagen, and reliever Marty Pattin gave up an RBI single to Bruce Kimm.
Ed Farmer pitched two scoreless innings after Burns suffered a cramp in his hip. Farmer got an inning-ending double play in each inning. Chicago tacked on a run in the ninth for the final margin.
The Royals dropped to 27-19 with the loss. However, with Oakland also losing, they maintained a 2.5-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 1-3 with a walk. Season stats: .301/.383/.515
1980 news: The Mariel boatlift, a mass emigration of Cubans to the United States, had been going on since mid-April. Unfortunately, some of the refugees were actually released from Cuban prisons and mental health facilities, the United States was caught unprepared for this influx, and therefore there was not a solid plan in place for accommodating them. On this date, that setup turned into a riot at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. As many as 19,000 Cubans were being held there, and delays in resettling them resulted in more than 1,000 of the refugees storming the front gate and pelting police and soldiers with rocks. Four barracks were destroyed. Fifteen state troopers and 62 refugees were injured, and 46 refugees were arrested. This particular incident would play a large part in Arkansas governor Bill Clinton’s failure to win re-election in November 1980 (and the whole Mariel boatlift situation arguably hurt President Jimmy Carter in his bid for re-election). Clinton would later say he had learned from his defeat; he would go on to win back the governorship in 1982 and retain it until he ran for president in 1992.
1980 news: The Cable News Network, better known as CNN, officially launches at 5:00 pm Eastern time with an introduction by founder Ted Turner. CNN became the world’s first 24-hour news channel and the first all-news channel in the United States.
Today’s birthdays: None