The Royals put an exclamation point on their season series victory over the Yankees with an 8-0 win on a warm Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.
The win gave Kansas City a final 8-4 advantage in the season series with their October tormentors, with another playoff meeting in the fall a near-certainty as both teams held comfortable leads in their divisions. The Royals had outscored New York 89-56 in the 12 games.
In this one, the Royals dominated in all facets. The batters collected 15 hits and battered Yankees starter Tommy John for all eight of their runs, including a six-run outburst in the fourth inning. Royals starter Larry Gura held the Yankees to seven hits as he pitched a complete game, and the defense backed him up with five double plays, including a sensational diving catch by shortstop U L Washington, who then fired to first to double off Reggie Jackson in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the Yankee defense contributed to Kansas City’s first two runs. Willie Wilson reached on an error by shortstop Bucky Dent to start the first inning. Wilson advanced to third on two groundouts and scored an unearned run when Hal McRae singled. In the second, Amos Otis led off with a walk. Darrell Porter followed with a single, and both runners moved up when left fielder Lou Piniella mishandled the ball. With one out, Dave Chalk singled to score Otis with another unearned run, although Porter was thrown out at the plate.
But the fourth inning damage was all done by the Royals. John Wathan led off with a walk and scored on an Otis double. Porter singled, with Otis stopping at third. Clint Hurdle doubled for one run. Chalk’s single scored Porter. With one out, U L Washington delivered an RBI single. George Brett capped the scoring with a two-run triple, which also sent John to the showers in favor of reliever Doug Bird, who got out of the inning without further damage.
But with Kansas City holding an 8-0 lead, the only question was if the Yankees could mount a comeback in the last four innings. Gura and the defense turned them aside, although New York had hits in three of those four innings. Fittingly, the game ended when the Royals turned a double play in the ninth.
With the win, the Royals improved to 60-38. They took two of three games in the series and held an 11-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 1-5 with two RBI. Brett now had a 10-game hitting streak, although he had been held to just one hit in each of the last three games. Season stats: .373/.436/.652.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198007270.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Nelson Santovenia (1961), Tom Goodwin (1968), Nick Dini (1993), Brad Keller (1995), Adalberto Mondesi (1995)