This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: September 18

Showing no ill effects following their celebration for clinching the division title the previous night, the Royals rode a four-run second inning to a 5-2 win over California on a Thursday night at Royals Stadium.

Trailing 1-0 as they came to bat in the second, Kansas City collected four hits and two walks to chase starter Freddie Martinez from the game. Amos Otis started the rally with a walk. Clint Hurdle and Jamie Quirk singled to load the bases. Pete LaCock grounded out to first, with Otis scoring to tie the game. Rance Mulliniks singled to drive in two runs, and advanced to second on the throw home. That enabled him to score on Willie Wilson’s single. Wilson then set an American League record by stealing second and third bases, giving him 28 consecutive successful stolen base attempts. That broke Ron LeFlore’s record of 27, set in 1978. Wilson was last caught stealing on July 20. Reliever Don Aase retired Willie Aikens on a fly ball to end the inning.

The Royals would not score again until the seventh. Wilson reached on an infield single, followed by a U L Washington walk. George Brett hit a fly ball to deep center, allowing the runners to tag and move up a base. Angels reliever Dave LaRoche hit Aikens with a pitch, and Otis greeted new pitcher Mark Clear with a sacrifice fly for a 5-1 lead.

Royals starter Renie Martin evened his record at 9-9 with a solid eight innings. Martin allowed nine hits and three walks but struck out five. He was helped by two double plays, as well.

California scored with two outs in the first as Carney Lansford drew a walk, stole second, and scored on a Jason Thompson single. But Martin held the Angels scoreless for the next seven innings before turning the game over to Dan Quisenberry for the ninth. Bobby Clark drew a leadoff walk to start the last inning, then moved up to third on a pair of groundouts. Gil Kubski brought Clark in with a single, but Quisenberry ended the game by retiring Lansford on a popup.

The win gave Kansas City a 91-56 record for the season and extended their AL West lead to 17.5 games. It also meant they won two out of three games in the series and finished the year with an 8-5 mark against the Angels.

George Brett watch: 2-3 with a walk. Season stats: .398/.465/.664

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthday: Ken Brett (1948)

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