This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: August 18

The Royals built an early 6-0 lead and held on for a 6-3 win over the Rangers on a Monday night at Arlington Stadium.

Kansas City scored all six of their runs in the first four innings. Texas starter Ed Figueroa got two outs to begin the game, but George Brett singled and Darrell Porter doubled for a 1-0 lead. Figueroa survived a hit and a walk in the second, but only got one out in the third before the Royals chased him from the game. Hal McRae started the inning with a double and stopped at third on Brett’s single. Porter hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly before Willie Aikens unloaded his 14th home run of the year. A single by Amos Otis finished Figueroa’s night. 

Reliever Charlie Hough finished the inning but the Royals added two more runs in the fourth with some help from the Texas defense. With one out, McRae and Brett each singled. Porter hit a fly ball that was dropped by right fielder Johnny Grubb, resulting in a bases-loaded situation. Aikens singled to drive in two runs and give KC a 6-0 lead.

Royals starter Rich Gale cruised through the first five innings, holding Texas to three singles. Although he walked Mickey Rivers to start the sixth, it looked like he would keep his shutout going with two quick outs. But Buddy Bell tagged Gale for a home run, cutting the Royals’ lead to 6-2.

Pat Putnam pulled the Rangers closer with a home run leading off the seventh, but Gale shrugged it off and retired the next three hitters. However, Texas started the eighth with singles from Rivers and Dave Roberts, bringing the tying run to the plate. Reliever Jeff Twitty got a key out, striking out Al Oliver, before Dan Quisenberry entered the game and got the next two batters to end the threat. Quisenberry allowed a two-out walk in the ninth but picked up his 26th save with a game-ending groundout.

With the win, the Royals stood at 76-42 following their sixth straight victory. They were in first place in the AL West, 14.5 games ahead of Oakland.

George Brett watch: 3-5 with three runs scored, advancing his hitting streak to 30 games. Season stats: .404/.460/.676

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Mike Ferraro (1944), Albie Lopez (1971), Josh Rupe (1982), Tony Cruz (1986)

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