This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: June 6

Four straight hits equaled a three-run rally in the fifth inning, and that led to another Royals win, by a 4-2 count over the Texas Rangers on a hot night at Arlington Stadium.

The Royals had had some chances in the first four innings, collecting four singles and three walks against Rangers starter Jon Matlack. But two double plays had helped dampen those chances. However, it didn’t take long in the fifth for things to turn around. With one out, Willie Wilson doubled. U L Washington singled to score Wilson, and Washington took second on the throw home. George Brett doubled to tie the score, and Amos Otis drove him in with a single.

Then the Royals’ defense chipped in. In the bottom of the fifth, Dave Roberts doubled off Royals starter Paul Splittorff with one out. Pinch-hitter Danny Walton singled, but Wilson and Washington teamed up to throw Roberts out at home and preserve the lead. Splittorff then got the next hitter out to end the inning. 

Kansas City tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. Wilson again started the rally with a single and stolen base, his 23rd of the year. Washington’s single scored Wilson for a 4-2 lead.

Splittorff’s night ended after a leadoff single in the seventh. He departed having allowed six hits and three walks in his six innings. Texas had scored both runs in the second, when Roberts homered with two outs and Jim Sundberg on base. That could have been worse; Splittorff got a double play before Sundberg walked.

Gary Christenson took over for Splittorff and got three quick outs. He then worked around a one-out single in the eighth. But after a leadoff walk in the ninth, the Royals summoned Dan Quisenberry to finish it out. Although Quisenberry did throw a wild pitch to advance the runner to second, he retired all three hitters he faced to nail down his ninth save.

The win lifted Kansas City’s record to 31-20. They were 3.5 games ahead of second-place Chicago in the AL West.

George Brett watch: 3-4, giving him a 10-game hitting streak. In those 10 games, Brett was 22 for 43, with an unbelievable .512/.533/.767 line. That had raised his season stats from .267/.356/.509 to his current .333/.401/.579.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Edgar Caceres (1964), Tony Graffanino (1972), Jeremy Affeldt (1979), Irving Falu (1983)

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