For the second night in a row, the Royals’ offense had a big night, resulting in a Kansas City win by an 8-4 score. This time, the victim was the Boston Red Sox, on a Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
While the Royals had 17 hits in Baltimore the previous evening, this time they managed “only” 15. Amos Otis led the way with three hits, while Willie Wilson, George Brett, Willie Aikens, and Frank White had two each.
Otis gave the Royals the lead with a home run off Red Sox starter (and Kansas City, Kansas native) Steve Renko in the second. In the third, White led off with a single, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Wilson followed with a single, and Hal McRae homered for a 3-0 lead.
Boston finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, after collecting just one hit and one walk through the first three innings against Royals starter Rich Gale. Fred Lynn walked to start the fourth and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Carl Yastrzemski singled to cut the KC lead to 4-1.
Otis started another rally in the sixth, walking with one out. Aikens singled, and Washington walked to load the bases. White doubled, driving in two runs.
Kansas City added a run in the seventh as Brett and Otis singled, followed by a single by Aikens. Although Dwight Evans homered with a man on in the seventh to pull Boston within 7-3, the Royals added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. In that inning, Brett and Darrell Porter singled with one out, and Pete LaCock singled with two outs to drive in Brett.
The Red Sox made matters slightly interesting in the ninth. With one out, Yastrzemski and Jim Dwyer singled. Royals closer Dan Quisenberry entered the game, and despite allowing an RBI single to Butch Hobson, got a groundout to end the game.
The win lifted the Royals to 52-34 on the season. They now held an 11.5-game lead in the AL West over the three teams tied for second (Chicago, Minnesota, Texas).
George Brett watch: 2-4 with a walk, and now on an eight-game hitting streak (two games before his ankle injury, all six since returning). Season stats: .363/.433/.627
1980 news: For the third straight day, the high temperature in downtown Kansas City reached 109°. It was also the 12th straight day of temperatures breaking the century mark.
1980 baseball news: Cincinnati catcher Johnny Bench hit his 314th career home run as a catcher, breaking Yogi Berra’s mark for the position. Bench also had 33 home runs while playing other positions. The blast off Montreal’s David Palmer helped the Reds to an 11-7 win in Cincinnati.