After the Royals fought back to tie the game, California scored three times in the fifth and took a 7-4 win on a Monday night at Anaheim Stadium.
Kansas City was fighting uphill all night, as California got to Royals starter Larry Gura for two runs in the first inning. Carney Lansford doubled with two outs and scored on a Dan Ford home run.
The Royals answered in the top of the second, as Amos Otis blasted his 10th homer of the year to start the inning. Jamie Quirk doubled with two outs, and U L Washington singled with Quirk stopping at third, but Angels starter Freddie Martinez got Willie Wilson to ground out and end the inning.
The Angels increased their lead to 4-1 with a pair of solo home runs. Carney Lansford went deep in the third inning, just after Rod Carew had been caught stealing. Brian Downing led off the fourth with another homer.
The Royals had not threatened since that second inning, but tied the score in the fifth. Washington singled with one out and stopped at third on a Wilson double. Frank White singled to score both runners. With two outs, Willie Aikens doubled to score White and make the score 4-4.
But the tie didn’t last long. Gura walked Dave Skaggs to start the home half of the fifth. With one out, Carew doubled. Lansford singled, driving in both runners, and took second on the throw home. Reliever Marty Pattin took over for Gura, but Ford moved Lansford to third with a single. Downing hit a sacrifice fly for a 7-4 lead.
Kansas City had one more scoring chance. Angels reliever Don Aase, who finished off the fifth inning, retired the first batter he faced in the eighth. But Otis singled and Darrell Porter drew a walk. Andy Hassler took over for Aase, then got pinch-hitter Jose Cardenal to ground out and struck out John Wathan. Hassler then worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to pick up his sixth save.
The loss dropped the Royals to 87-51 on the season. They held a 17.5-game lead in the AL West and their magic number to clinch the division stayed at eight.
George Brett watch: Brett missed a second game after injuring his hand swinging the bat. X-rays showed nothing broken, and doctors described the injury as “similar to tendinitis.” Season stats: .396/.463/.668
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL198009080.shtml
Today’s birthday: Gil Meche (1978)