This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: August 20

The Royals scored two runs in the 12th inning to take a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers on a Wednesday night at Arlington Stadium.

Rangers reliever John Henry Johnson was still on the mound when the inning began, having pitched 1 ⅔ innings and only allowing a walk. But Hal McRae led off with a double. The Rangers intentionally walked George Brett, but Johnson then walked Darrell Porter to load the bases. Willie Aikens hit a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead, with Brett taking third. Danny Darwin replaced Johnson, but uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Brett to score before getting the final two outs.

Kansas City built a 3-1 lead through 4 ½ innings before Texas tied the score in the fifth. The Royals started the game with a run in the first. McRae doubled off Rangers starter Ken Clay with one out and scored on a Brett single.

The Rangers responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, against Royals starter Larry Gura. Mickey Rivers led off with a double and took third on a bunt. He scored on Al Oliver’s sacrifice fly.

Brett homered with two outs and no one on in the third for a 2-1 lead. It was Brett’s 15th home run of the year. The Royals then added to their lead in the fifth. U L Washington led off with a single and stole second, but he was still there with two outs. Clay walked Brett intentionally, then hit Porter with a pitch to load the bases. When Clay threw his third wild pitch of the game, Washington scampered home with Kansas City’s third run.

Texas tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth. Billy Sample led off with a single and scored on a Dave Roberts home run. From there, Gura held Texas scoreless through the ninth inning before reliever Dan Quisenberry pitched two scoreless innings. Renie Martin recorded the save by working around a two-out single in the 12th.

With the win, the Royals improved to 78-42 as they swept the three-game series. They held a 15.5-game lead in the AL West and an eight-game hitting streak.

George Brett watch: A night after his 30-game hitting streak was snapped, Brett went 3-3 with two intentional walks (both booed loudly by the Rangers fans), two runs scored, and two RBI. Season stats: .406/.467/.682

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX198008200.shtml

Today’s birthday: Israel Sanchez (1963)

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