The Royals fought back from a 3-0 deficit, but two home runs by Wayne Nordhagen sent them to a 5-3 loss to the White Sox on a Sunday afternoon at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.
Kansas City was battling uphill all afternoon, as the White Sox jumped on starter Paul Splittorff for one run in the first inning and two more in the second. With one out in the first, Greg Pryor and Jim Morrison hit back-to-back singles. Pryor scored on Lamar Johnson’s sacrifice fly.
The second inning started with singles by Chet Lemon, Ron Pruitt, and Bruce Kimm for one run. Splittorff retired the next two hitters, but Pryor singled to give Chicago a 3-0 lead, although the Royals did nab Kimm at home trying to score a fourth run.
Frank White picked up the Royals’ first hit off Chicago starter Rich Dotson with one out in the third. Rance Mulliniks hit a grounder to shortstop Todd Cruz, who made a bad throw to second, and both runners were safe. Willie Wilson walked to load the bases. Hal McRae bounced into a forceout at second, with White scoring on the play.
The Royals added another run in the fourth. Singles by Darrell Porter and Willie Aikens started the inning, with Porter advancing to third. Amos Otis hit a grounder to first baseman Mike Squires, whose throw home was too late to catch Porter. But Dotson retired the next three hitters to shut down the promising inning.
Kansas City tied the score in the fifth as McRae blasted his ninth home run of the year. However, Dotson only allowed three singles and a walk the rest of the way as he improved to 8-6 on the year.
Nordhagen broke the 3-3 tie when he led off the sixth with a home run. After Lemon followed with a single, Renie Martin took over for Splittorff. Lemon was caught stealing and Martin retired seven straight hitters before Nordhagen gave the White Sox an insurance run with another solo shot in the eighth.
The loss meant the Royals failed to sweep the three-game series, but they still had a 64-40 record and a 12-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 1-4, running his hitting streak to 16 games. Season stats: .386/.447/.659
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA198008030.shtml
1980 news: In the presidential campaign, Republican nominee Ronald Reagan made what turned out to be a controversial stop at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi. The fair was held just a few miles from where three civil-rights workers had been killed in 1964. Reagan’s speech, which was mostly concerned with the economy, mentioned “states’ rights,” a phrase President Jimmy Carter jumped on to accuse Reagan of racism. On the other hand, reducing the role of the federal government had long been part of Reagan’s philosophy.
1980 baseball news: The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held in Cooperstown, New York. Detroit Tigers great Al Kaline and Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers legend Duke Snider entered the Hall, joining the Veterans Committee selections: outfielder Chuck Klein and Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. The J.G. Taylor Spink award for baseball writing was shared by Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Tommy Holmes of the Brooklyn Eagle and New York Herald-Tribune. Former Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges, most famous for his “The Giants win the pennant!” call after the 1951 National League playoff, was honored with the Ford Frick award.
Today’s birthdays: Blake Stein (1973), Bubba Starling (1992)