George Brett put his name in the Royals’ record book yet again, but it was a team effort as Kansas City downed the Brewers, 5-4, on a Wednesday night at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
Every Royals starter except one had at least one hit, with right fielder Clint Hurdle picking up two and hitting the home run that became the difference in the game. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Paul Splittorff held Milwaukee to eight hits and a walk over eight innings, and Renie Martin picked up the save in place of usual closer Dan Quisenberry, who needed a night off after pitching in four straight games.
Brett tied a Royals franchise record with his eight hit in eight at-bats when he singled in the third inning. He joined teammate Amos Otis in the team record book; Otis accomplished the feat in 1970 (the record would later be broken by Joe Randa with 10 straight hits in 1999). Brett’s first plate appearance resulted in him being hit by a curveball from Brewers starter Paul Mitchell in the first inning. Kansas City scored its first run in that inning, as Willie Wilson started the game with a double, took third on a fly ball, and scored on Willie Aikens’ sacrifice fly after Brett reached base.
The Royals took a 4-0 lead with a big third inning. With two outs, Brett started the rally with a single. He stole second and scored on an Aikens double. Darrell Porter doubled to score Aikens, and an Otis single brought Porter in with the third run of the inning.
The Brewers crept a little closer in the fifth. With one out, Dick Davis singled. With two outs, Paul Molitor doubled to right field. Davis scored when Hurdle mishandled the ball, allowing Molitor to advance to third. But Splittorff kept the Royals in front by getting Yount to ground out.
Hurdle made up for his error at the earliest opportunity. Leading off the sixth against reliever Fred Holdsworth, Hurdle belted his 10th home run of the year over the right field fence, putting the Royals ahead by two again at 5-3.
That run proved the difference. Yount hit a solo home run with one out in the eighth, but Splittorff got through the inning without any further damage, and Martin worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the year.
The win gave Kansas City a sweep of the three-game series, and with second-place Oakland idle, the Royals increased their lead in the AL West to 18 games.
George Brett watch: 1-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases (that gave him 12 for the season). Season stats: .406/.468/.672
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL198008270.shtml