This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: July 23

The Royals’ offense was a balanced attack, as every starter had at least one hit and six different hitters had two hits apiece in Kansas City’s 9-2 win over the White Sox on a Wednesday night at Royals Stadium.

Kansas City collected 15 hits as they scored single runs in three of the first four innings, then used a four-run fifth inning to take control. U L Washington started the scoring with a solo home run with one out in the first. It was Washington’s fifth of the year.

White Sox starter Ross Baumgarten left after the first with shoulder soreness, but reliever Ken Kravec repeated the start of the game, as Willie Aikens blasted a solo home run with one out in the second, his 11th of the season. The Royals added a less explosive run in the fourth, as Darrell Porter singled with one out, followed by an Aikens walk and Clint Hurdle single to load the bases. Frank White lofted a sacrifice fly to drive in Porter.

Chet Lemon collected Chicago’s second hit, a double leading off the fourth off Royals starter Larry Gura. Lemon came around to score on two fly balls.

But the Royals answered with four runs in their half of the fifth. Once again, the Royals scored on a solo home run with one out. This one came off the bat of George Brett, his 10th of the season. Hal McRae and John Wathan collected back-to-back doubles for another run. After Porter drew a walk, LaMarr Hoyt replaced Kravec. Aikens welcomed him to the game with an RBI single, and Hurdle hit a sacrifice fly for a 7-1 lead.

Although the White Sox picked up a run in the top of the sixth, with Johnson driving in Jim Morrison with another double, the Royals removed all doubt with two more runs in their half of the sixth. Brett doubled with one out and scored when Wathan singled with two outs. Guy Hoffman replaced Hoyt, but Wathan stole second and scored on Porter’s single.

Gura departed after seven innings, having allowed eight hits and three walks but also striking out seven. Although his ERA rose a bit, from 2.00 to 2.11, he maintained his league lead in that statistic. He also improved to a gaudy 13-4 on the season.

With the win, the Royals moved to 57-37. They also gained a game in the standings and held a 10.5-game lead on second place Texas in the AL West.

George Brett watch: 2-4 with the home run and double. Season stats: .377/.441/.654

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198007230.shtml

Today’s birthday: Henry Mercedes (1969)

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