The Royals used a six-run outburst in the fifth inning to take an 8-5 win over the Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.
Kansas City trailed 1-0 as they came to bat in the fifth, having collected just two hits and a walk through four innings against Toronto starter Jesse Jefferson. With one out, Dave Chalk singled and Rance Mulliniks walked. The runners moved up a base on a groundout, and then the Royals began picking up RBI hits. Successive singles by John Wathan, George Brett, and Darrell Porter each drove in one run. Willie Aikens greeted reliever Jerry Garvin with yet another RBI single, before Amos Otis mixed things up with an RBI double for a 5-1 lead. Reliever Joey McLaughlin entered the game and issued an intentional walk to Clint Hurdle to load the bases. Then McLaughlin issued an unintentional walk to Chalk to force in a run before finally getting a groundout to end the inning.
Toronto made the game interesting with three runs in the seventh. After they had scored one run in the sixth off Royals starter Dennis Leonard, the Blue Jays took advantage of some wildness from the veteran righthander. Lloyd Moseby started the inning with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. With one out, Alfredo Griffin tripled and Damaso Garcia doubled, making the score 6-4. Reliever Marty Pattin got a grounder for the second out, but Otto Velez singled to drive in Garcia before Pattin got a fly ball to end the inning.
Needing insurance runs, the Royals’ offense went back to work. Singles by Hurdle, Chalk, and Mulliniks loaded the bases to begin the eighth. Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to put the Royals ahead 7-5, although Wathan grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Royals then added one more in the ninth. Brett led off with a single and stole second. After taking third on a groundout, he scored when Otis lofted a sacrifice fly.
Patton earned his fourth save of the year by working around a walk and a single in the ninth. That preserved the win for Leonard, his 13th of the season and 100th of his career, all with Kansas City. Leonard joined teammate Paul Splittorff as the only two pitchers at the time with 100 wins in a Royals uniform.
The victory lifted the Royals to 70-41, as they won three out of four in this series and ended a 10-game road trip with an 8-2 mark. They had a 13-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 3-5 with a double (26 on the year), two runs scored (57), one RBI (76), and a stolen base (8). The star’s hitting streak was now at 23 games. Season stats: .390/.450/.664
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TOR/TOR198008100.shtml
1980 news: Hurricane Allen finally made landfall, as the storm reached Texas between the cities of Corpus Christi and Brownsville. Fortunately for those in its path, Allen ran into the high pressure area that had been parked over Texas for most of the summer and causing a historic heat wave. That helped weaken the storm to a Category 3 after it had been a Category 5 hurricane for several days while over water. Still, the storm dumped 20 inches of rain in parts of southern Texas, spawned several tornadoes, and produced a storm surge of 12 feet at Port Mansfield. By the end of Sunday, Allen had been downgraded to a tropical storm.
1980 news: In other weather news, the temperature in downtown Kansas City reached 101°, the 28th time it had reached the century mark just in July and August. Thankfully, it would be the last time, although there were still plenty of upper-90s days ahead.
Today’s birthdays: Sal Fasano (1971), Fernando Cortez (1981), Josh Anderson (1982)