This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: June 27

The Royals could have–probably should have–scored more runs. But Rich Gale, with some help from Dan Quisenberry, made sure the two they did get stood up in Kansas City’s 2-1 win over the Mariners at the Kingdome in Seattle.

Royals hitters collected 11 hits and two walks, all against Seattle starter Rick Honeycutt. But double plays ended the first two innings. The Royals had two men on in the first when Amos Otis grounded into a double play, and loaded the bases with no outs in the second before Frank White’s grounder resulted in a forceout at home and Dave Chalk bounced into another double play.

It took until the fifth for the Royals to score. They did so when White led off with a home run, his fourth of the year. Of course, Kansas City got two singles later in the inning but could not add to their lead.

Willie Aikens did add to the lead, starting the sixth with his ninth home run of the year. But the Royals could not take advantage of Chalk’s leadoff double in the seventh, and left two men on in the eighth.

Gale, meanwhile, had held Seattle to two singles and three walks through seven innings. Bob Stinson led off the eighth with a double, the Mariners’ first hit since the fourth. After Gale walked Larry Milbourne, the Royals turned the game over to Quisenberry. He retired five straight hitters, getting out of that eighth-inning jam, before Jim Anderson homered to cut the Royals’ lead to 2-1. But Quisenberry struck out Mario Mendoza to end the game and earn his 14th save and third in three games.

Gale improved to 5-7 as he continued a string of good performances. Since failing to get out of the first inning in a May 28 start (and a demotion to the bullpen for one turn in the rotation), he had now gone 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in four starts and two fairly long relief appearances totaling 45 innings.

The win lifted the Royals to 43-28 on the season. They maintained a nine-game lead over Chicago in the AL West.

George Brett watch: On the disabled list with an ankle injury. Season stats: .337/.407/.609.

Box score and play-by-play:

1980 baseball news: In San Francisco, Jerry Reuss of the Los Angeles Dodgers tossed a no-hitter. Only a throwing error by shortstop Bill Russell in the first inning kept Reuss from a perfect game. As it was, he had the first no-hitter of the 1980 season and the first by a Dodger in 10 years. With 17 hits, Dodger hitters backed Reuss with eight runs.

1980 news: The Royals were probably happy to be playing in an air-conditioned dome in the Pacific Northwest, as temperatures in the Kansas City area soared to near 110°. This was part of the 1980 heat wave that affected much of the country well into September. Until this point in the year, most of the heat had been concentrated south of the Kansas City area, but now it was beginning to spread north. The good news was the forecast called for a cold front to come through and drop temperatures all the way down to the mid-90s.

Today’s birthdays: Joe Zdeb (1957), Jeff Conine (1966), Andy Larkin (1974), Abraham Almonte (1989)

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