This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: June 28

For the third time in three games, Royals pitching came within one out of a shutout but couldn’t finish it off. However, for the fourth straight game, Kansas City came out a winner, this time with a 4-2 victory over the Mariners at the Kingdome in Seattle.

This time, the pitcher in question was Larry Gura, who earned his 10th win of the season and was working on a two-hitter as he started the ninth inning. Marc Hill reached on an error by shortstop U L Washington to start the inning, but Gura retired the next two hitters. However, Bruce Bochte doubled and Tom Paciorek drove in both runs with a single. The runs were unearned and Gura finished off the game with a Dan Meyer fly ball.

All of Kansas City’s runs came against Seattle starter Dave Roberts in the fifth inning. Dave Chalk started the inning with a double and stopped at third on Willie Wilson’s single. U L Washington scored both runners with a triple. Roberts retired the next two hitters but kept the inning alive by hitting Willie Aikens with a pitch. John Wathan made him pay with another two-run triple.

Gura allowed his first hit with one out in the first, so there was no drama about a no-hitter, but he then retired nine straight. After another single, he again retired nine straight. Seattle had only one runner reach second base before the ninth inning. Gura improved his ERA to 2.09 as he struck out three batters with just one walk. With a 10-3 record, he was making an excellent case to be included on the American League All-Star team.

The win moved the Royals to 44-28 on the season. They remained nine games ahead of Chicago in the AL West race.

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/SEA/SEA198006280.shtml

Today’s birthday: Ron Mahay (1971)

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