The good times came to a halt–at least temporarily–for both the Royals and George Brett, as they absorbed a 12-4 beating from the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, and Brett’s hitting streak was snapped at nine games as he failed to hit a ball out of the infield in four at-bats.
Boston starter John Tudor pitched a complete game, holding Kansas City to five hits, although he did issue four walks. Tudor struck out four batters.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox built a 12-0 lead against Royals starter Renie Martin and relievers Marty Pattin and Jeff Twitty. Boston battered Martin for five runs through the first four innings, with a Dave Stapleton double scoring one run in the third, and Jim Dwyer and Butch Hobson collecting two RBIs each on a single and a double in the fourth.
Hobson’s double came against Pattin, allowing two inherited runners to score, before the reliever ended the inning. However, Boston blew open the game with seven runs in the fifth. Stapleton started the inning with a home run, Three singles produced another run and chased Pattin from the game, Twitty finished out the inning but also allowed four hits and a walk in the process.
The Royals had managed just two hits in the first five innings, but with Tudor possibly not as sharp after the long bottom of the fifth, they rallied for three runs in the sixth. Dave Chalk started things with a walk and stopped at second on a Willie Wilson single. With one out, Brett hit a grounder to first baseman Stapleton, who threw to second for a forceout. But shortstop Rick Burleson’s throw back to first was bad, and Chalk scored. Brett reached second and scored when Hal McRae homered over the Green Monster.
Kansas City converted two walks in the seventh into their final run, as John Wathan and Darrell Porter drew free passes to start the inning. Wathan took third on a fly ball and scored on Chalk’s sacrifice fly. However, Tudor retired eight of the last 11 hitters after the walk to Porter.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 53-35. They still had a sizable 10.5-game lead on second-place Texas in the AL West. Kansas City failed to sweep the three-game series but still headed to New York with a series win in their pocket.
George Brett watch: 0-4, although he did score a run. Season stats: .366/.434/.634.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198007170.shtml
1980 news: In Detroit, Ronald Reagan officially accepted the Republican nomination for president as the GOP’s convention came to a close.
1980 sports news: In Muirfield, Scotland, Kansas City’s Tom Watson shared the lead after the first round of the British Open. Watson and Lee Trevino each shot a 68 (three strokes under par) on the first day. Trevino had won the last Open played at Muirfield, in 1972, while Watson was seeking his first win in a major in three years.
Today’s birthdays: None