John Wathan’s one-out single in the 10th inning drove in the winning run—his third RBI of the game—as the Royals defeated the Twins 4-3 at Royals Stadium.
Wathan’s hit scored Rusty Torres, who was running for Dave Chalk. Chalk led off the inning with a single and took second on Willie Wilson’s single. U L Washington laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Wathan singled to end the game.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second inning against Royals starter Rich Gale. Butch Wynegar singled to drive in Glenn Adams, who had singled with one out, stole second and advanced to third on catcher Darrell Porter’s throwing error.
But the Royals responded with three runs in the fifth. Facing Twins starter Jerry Koosman, Frank White and Chalk reached on one-out singles. Wilson grounded into a forceout at second, but Washington singled to score one run. Wathan followed with a triple to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.
The Royals’ bullpen could not hold the lead, though. Gale left the game in the fifth with a sore shoulder. Reliever Rawly Eastwick, in his third inning of work, gave up two runs in the eighth to tie the game. He started the inning by walking John Castino. Ron Jackson followed with a double. One out later, the Twins tied the score when Eastwick made a bad throw to first on Rick Sofield’s grounder back to the mound.
Dan Quisenberry got the Royals out of the jam with two groundouts, then worked around a leadoff double in the ninth and a one-out single in the 10th. That set the stage for Wathan’s heroics.
The win improved the Royals to 45-31 on the season. They were in first place in the AL West, eight games ahead of Chicago.
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: The American League announced the reserves for the All-Star Game. With injuries to three of the players voted into starting spots, some of the reserves would find themselves in the lineup on July 8 in Los Angeles. Catcher Darrell Porter of the Royals was the only KC player named as a reserve; he joined Lance Parrish of Detroit as backup backstops. Infielders selected were Cecil Cooper (Milwaukee), Bobby Grich (California), Willie Randolph (New York), Graig Nettles (New York), Buddy Bell (Texas), and Robin Yount (Milwaukee). Outfielders named to the team included Ben Oglivie (Milwaukee), Al Bumbry (Baltimore), Rickey Henderson (Oakland), Ken Landreaux (Minnesota), Al Oliver (Texas), and Jorge Orta (Cleveland). Meanwhile, the National League announced its pitching staff: Vida Blue (San Francisco), Steve Carlton (Philadelphia), Jim Bibby (Pittsburgh), Jerry Reuss (Los Angeles), J.R. Richard (Houston), Bruce Sutter (Chicago), Kent Tekulve (Pittsburgh), and Bob Welch (Los Angeles). Blue was placed on the disabled list shortly after the announcement, however.
1980 entertainment news: One of the greatest comedies of all time opened in wide release. Airplane! was distributed to 705 theaters in the U.S. and Canada after premiering in Toronto a few days earlier. The fourth-highest grossing movie of 1980, it still routinely makes lists of the funniest films of all time and is the perfect film for anyone who picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
Today’s birthdays: Keith Marshall (1951), Tim Spehr (1966)