The Royals suffered through a frustrating loss, leaving eight men on base and hitting into four double plays in a 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night at Royals Stadium.
Brewers starter Lary Sorensen allowed nine hits, but all of them were singles. He managed to pitch a complete game despite issuing three walks and hitting a batter but not striking out anyone. Twice the Royals started an inning with back-to-back singles, only to have Jamie Quirk ground into a double play. It wasn’t just Quirk, as Amos Otis and Willie Aikens also ended scoring chances with twin killings.
Meanwhile, Royals starter Paul Splittorff surrendered two home runs to Don Money and seven other hits in 6 ⅔ innings. Milwaukee scored right away, as Dick Davis led off the game with a single, took second on a groundout, and scored on Cecil Cooper’s single.
In the third, Davis singled with one out ahead of Money’s eighth home run of the season, a blast on to the grassy hill beyond the left-center field fence. Money then led off the sixth with a home run just inside the left field foul pole. That gave the veteran infielder nine round-trippers on the season, four of them against Kansas City pitching.
Milwaukee added their final run in the seventh. With one out, Sal Bando doubled. With two outs, Buck Martinez singled to score pinch-runner Ed Romero.
The Royals finally broke through in the ninth, avoiding their first shutout since May 8. Darrell Porter and Clint Hurdle started the inning with singles. Quirk hit into a double play, with Porter taking third. John Wathan singled to score the run, but a forceout at second ended the game.
The loss was the third straight for the Royals, their first such streak since mid-April. But with the rest of the AL West under .500, Kansas City still held an eight-game lead in the division. Their record of 39-26 was still the second-best in the AL, behind the Yankees’ 43-21 mark.
Off the field, second baseman Frank White made news by demanding a contract renegotiation or, failing that, a trade. White said that at least six second basemen in the American League made more than his $150,000 a year, although White had won three straight Gold Gloves and two starting spots in the All-Star Game. During spring training, some Royals players had grumbled about the team not keeping up with payrolls around the league, but White was the first one to bring it up during the season. He did say he would wait until the end of the year to talk with GM Joe Burke, but told the Associated Press he did not expect to be a Royal in 1981. Owner Ewing Kauffman reiterated the Royals’ policy was to not renegotiate anyone’s contract.
George Brett watch: On the disabled list with an ankle injury. Season stats: .337/.407/.609.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198006210.shtml
Today’s birthdays: None