This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: July 6

It was the Tom Paciorek and Bruce Bochte show on a hot Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium, as the heart of the Seattle lineup collected eight hits, three runs scored, and three RBIs in the Mariners’ 5-3 win over Kansas City.

Nothing came of Bochte’s two-out double in the first, as Paciorek grounded out to end the inning. The Royals grabbed a short-lived 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as U L Washington tripled off Mariners starter Floyd Bannister with one out and scored on John Wathan’s single. 

Seattle quickly tied the score in the second as Dan Meyer doubled against Royals starter Paul Splittorff to start the inning. Meyer scored after Jim Anderson singled and Leon Roberts hit a sacrifice fly.

The Royals retook the lead in the bottom of the second with help from Seattle. With two outs, Dave Chalk walked and stole second. Third baseman Ted Cox booted Willie Wilson’s grounder, and Washington followed with an RBI single.

KC held the 2-1 lead until the fourth, when Paciorek homered to start the inning. Once again, the Royals went back in front in the bottom of the inning. Frank White doubled with one out and scored on Washington’s single.

But then Bochte and Paciorek teamed up to help put Seattle on top for good. Larry Milbourne walked to lead off the fifth. With one out, Bochte singled. Paciorek’s double scored Milbourne to tie the game, and Bochte scored the go-ahead run on a groundout.

Bochte gave the Mariners an insurance run when he homered off Splittorff to start the seventh inning. Seattle reliever Shane Rawley earned the save by retiring the last seven hitters in order to finish out the game.

With the loss, the Royals reached the All-Star break with a 47-33 mark. They got a split of the four-game series with Seattle and held an 8.5-game lead in the AL West.

George Brett watch: On the disabled list with an ankle injury. However, after the game the Royals demoted reliever Gary Christenson to Omaha, hoping that Brett would be ready to go after the All-Star break. Season stats: .337/.407/.609.

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198007060.shtml

1980 baseball news: In Pittsburgh, the Pirates and Cubs were probably thankful to have three days off for the All-Star break after they played a 20-inning marathon, won by the Pirates, 5-4, on an Omar Moreno single. The winning run was scored by catcher Ed Ott, who caught the entire game. Chicago’s Cliff Johnson tied the game with a pinch-hit home run with two outs in the top of the ninth and then the scoring dried up. In fact, Pittsburgh went hitless for 12 ⅔ innings. 

1980 news: As the heat wave continued to punish the Kansas City area, reports began circulating about an ice shortage. Icemakers confirmed that they were having trouble keeping up with the demand. The concessionaire for Royals Stadium said they were having to ship ice in from Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Today’s birthday: Lance Clemons (1947)

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