This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: August 9

Toronto pushed a run across in the bottom of the 14th to earn a walkoff win over the Royals on a Saturday night at Exhibition Stadium.

Rawly Eastwick replaced Dan Quisenberry on the mound to start the 14th inning. Quisenberry had suffered just his third blown save of the year when he surrendered the tying run in the ninth, but then followed that with four scoreless innings, ending his night by striking out Bob Davis to escape a bases-loaded jam in the 13th. Eastwick surrendered a leadoff single to Alfredo Griffin. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, pinch-hitter Steve Braun singled to left, scoring Griffin to end the marathon (although the time of game was only three hours and 38 minutes).

That ended a back-and-forth affair that saw Toronto answer Royal runs with one of their own twice, while Kansas City returned the favor once. The teams traded single runs in the first inning. Facing Blue Jays starter Dave Stieb, U L Washington doubled with one out and scored on George Brett’s single. But the Jays tied the game in the bottom of the inning as Al Woods homered with two outs off Royals starter Steve Busby.

Woods put Toronto in front in the third. Griffin and Damaso Garcia each singled with one out, and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Griffin scored when Woods grounded out. This time, it was the Royals immediately answering. Willie Aikens singled with two outs in the fourth and scored on an Amos Otis double.

From there, Busby and Stieb matched zeroes on the scoreboard until Busby was pulled with two men on and one out in the seventh. Reliever Jeff Twitty immediately got out of the mess with a double play to keep the game tied. Busby, still attempting to come back from rotator cuff and knee surgeries, had a solid outing. He scattered eight hits over 6 ⅓ innings but didn’t walk anyone while picking up two strikeouts.

After Twitty worked around a leadoff double in the eighth, the Royals took the lead in the top of the ninth. Aikens led off by hitting his 12th home run of the year. Stieb recovered to retire the next three hitters, but it certainly looked like the Royals were on their way to a sixth straight win.

However, Otto Velez greeted Quisenberry with a double to start the ninth. After a bunt moved pinch-runner Bob Bailor to third, John Mayberry hit a grounder to Frank White at second base. White threw home to get the runner, but made a bad throw and the game was tied, while Mayberry took second on the error. Quisenberry escaped with two groundouts.

The Royals did have a chance to take the lead in the 12th. Reliever Mike Willis took over for Stieb to start the 11th and would pick up the victory by pitching four hitless innings. However, John Wathan led off the 12th by reaching on an error by Griffin at shortstop. Wathan then stole second and took third on catcher Davis’s throwing error. But Jamie Quirk struck out and White grounded back to the mound, with Wathan becoming an easy out at home on the play. Wilson grounded into a forceout to end the inning.

With the loss, the Royals dropped to 69-41. They still held a 12.5-game lead in the AL West, though.

George Brett watch: 1-5 with a walk, advancing his hitting streak to 22 games. Season stats: .386/.448/.662

Box score and play-by-play:

1980 news: Hurricane Allen neared the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 5 storm, threatening the Texas-Mexico border area with 15-20 inches of rain and winds at speeds higher than 140 mph. However, Allen slowed down a bit as it neared the coast, moving the expected landfall from Saturday night to early Sunday morning. Most of the areas expecting impact had been evacuated, and authorities reported no injuries yet despite high winds and storm surge.

1980 news: As the Democratic National Convention prepared to begin in New York City, a poll by the Associated Press and NBC found Republican candidate Ronald Reagan was 25 points ahead of President Jimmy Carter. Among likely voters of both parties, 47% said they would vote for Reagan, while just 22% said they would vote for Carter. Representative John Anderson, running as an independent, received the support of 15%. Carter’s main challenger in the Democratic primaries, Senator Ted Kennedy, was also found to be far behind Reagan in the polling.

Today’s birthdays: Stan Clarke (1960), Bob Scanlan (1966), Jason Frasor (1977), Drew Butera (1983)

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