The Royals scored four runs in the first inning off a future Hall of Famer and cruised to a 6-1 win over Baltimore on a hot Wednesday night at Royals Stadium.
Kansas City appeared undaunted by Orioles starter Jim Palmer and the 96° weather at game time, the Royals began their rally with a Willie Wilson triple. With one out, George Brett ended any drama about extending his hitting streak, as he lined an RBI single into center field. After Darrell Porter walked, Willie Aikens smacked a hanging Palmer curve into the right-field seats for a 4-0 lead. Only some luck got Palmer out of the inning, as Amos Otis doubled and John Wathan drew a walk before Pete LaCock hit a line drive right at second baseman Rich Dauer, who was able to step on second to double off Otis.
While Palmer would settle down after that and hold the Royals to single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, Baltimore had no answer for Kansas City starter Rich Gale, who pitched a complete game and earned his 11th win of the season. Gale held the Orioles to six hits, while striking out three and walking one.
Baltimore failed to capitalize on a leadoff double in the second but were able to break through in the third. Dauer led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. He then scored on a Kiko Garcia double. But Gale retired the next three batters to limit the damage. The Orioles could only manage three singles the rest of the way, and Gale finished the game with a streak of nine straight outs.
Gale didn’t need them, but the Royals added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Otis walked with one out and took third on a Wathan single. LaCock hit another ball Dauer’s way, but the second baseman booted the ground ball and Otis scored. Frank White led off the seventh with a walk and reached third on a Brett single. Porter grounded into a double play, although White was able to score for the final 6-1 margin.
With the win, the Royals improved to 72-42. They won two of three games in the series and maintained their 13.5-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Brett’s hitting streak was now up to 26 games. Season stats: .391/.451/.661
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198008130.shtml