This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: September 20

The Royals had no answer for Athletics outfielder Tony Armas, who blasted two home runs and tied an Oakland record with 12 total bases as the A’s walloped Kansas City, 9-0, on a Saturday night at Royals Stadium.

As the Royals tried to ready their playoff rotation, rookie Mike Jones got the start. Things went poorly for him right away, as Rickey Henderson started the game with a single and a steal of second base. He scored on Mike Heath’s single. Armas doubled to move Heath to third, and Jeff Newman singled with two outs to score both runners.

Oakland doubled their lead with three more runs in the second. Henderson again keyed the rally, drawing a walk with one out and stealing second again. This time, he scored on a Dwayne Murphy single. Craig Chamberlain relieved Jones, but right fielder Clint Hurdle dropped Heath’s fly ball. Armas followed with a double that scored both runners. Armas proceeded to steal second, but Chamberlain got a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.

Armas struck again in the fourth, blasting a solo home run over the right field fence. And in the sixth, he roughed up Chamberlain for a long home run to left field, this one with Murphy aboard. 

The offensive onslaught tied Reggie Jackson’s record in total bases for the Oakland portion of Athletics history. Armas also pulled into a tie for fourth in the American League in RBI with Kansas City’s George Brett; both players had 102. Armas ended the evening with 33 home runs.

Kansas City’s offense could do little against Oakland starter Matt Keough, who pitched a complete game and improved to 16-13 on the year. Keough allowed just five hits, all singles, and one walk. He struck out four. 

The loss dropped the Royals to 92-57. With the AL West title in hand, they led the A’s by 17.5 games in the division race.

George Brett watch: 0-4. Oof. Season stats: .396/.460/.656

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198009200.shtml

1980 news: Early on a quiet Saturday morning, a neighborhood in north Olathe was shaken by a large explosion. Investigators would later learn that Danny Crump had rigged a package with 10 sticks of dynamite, set to explode when it was opened, and left it on the hood of a car at the house where his ex-wife lived with her parents. The blast killed six members of the Post family, destroying their house and scattering debris throughout the neighborhood. Crump had been embroiled in a bitter custody dispute with 19-year-old Diane Post Crump; although the couple had been married roughly a year before splitting up, they had a son who was also in the house at the time of the explosion. The son survived, although he was blown out of the house and had to be revived by a neighbor. Crump would ultimately be sentenced to six consecutive life terms.

Today’s birthdays: Bob Detherage (1954), Angel Sanchez (1983)

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