Paul Splittorff pitched a gem and Willie Wilson’s single drove in the winning run as the Royals took a briskly-played victory, 2-1 over the Indians on a Friday night at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
Splittorff captured his 11th win of the season by holding the Indians to four hits over nine innings, walking one and striking out one. His only hiccup came in the fourth, after he had retired the first nine hitters in order. Miguel Dilone led off with a bunt single and moved up to second on John Wathan’s throwing error on the play. Jorge Orta followed with a single and Cleveland had a 1-0 lead. But Splittorff got Mike Hargrove to ground into a double play and Joe Charboneau lined out, ending the inning. Cleveland would get just two hits and a walk the rest of the way.
The Royals had their own problems against Cleveland starter Rick Waits, who also pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out three.
Kansas City responded immediately to capture the lead for good in the fifth. With one out, Jose Cardenal singled. Frank White tripled to tie the score, and Wilson singled to drive in White with what proved to be the winning run. Like Splittorff, Waits would only allow two hits the rest of the game.
With both pitchers dominating, the game was played in just an hour and 51 minutes.
The win improved the Royals to 86-49 on the season, and kept their lead in the AL West at 18.5 games. Their magic number to clinch the division was 10.
George Brett watch: 1-4 with a double, but his average dipped below .400. Season stats: .399/.465/.673
Box score and play-by-play:
Today’s birthdays: Dave Morehead (1942), Brian Bevil (1971)