This Date In Royals History-1980 Edition: September 21

It took the Royals six batters to score three runs. But then Oakland’s Mike Norris settled in and Kansas City managed just five baserunners the rest of the game as they fell to the A’s, 9-3, on a Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.

Oakland scored two runs in the top of the first, as Royals starter Dennis Leonard began the game by walking Rickey Henderson. That predictably turned into a steal of second, and Henderson scored on a Mitchell Page triple. Tony Armas, one day after he belted two home runs and two doubles, kept his hot hitting going with an RBI single.

The Royals quickly responded. Willie Wilson led off with a single and stole second. He scored when George Brett slammed his 20th home run of the year.

That was it for the scoring in the first inning, but John Wathan led off the bottom of the second with a home run, giving the Royals a 3-2 lead. But from there, it was all Oakland.

The A’s took the lead in the fifth on a three-run home run from Wayne Gross. They added to the lead in the sixth when Henderson reached second on an error by shortstop U L Washington. Henderson then stole third and scored when Wathan’s throw sailed into left field.

Gross homered off Leonard again in the seventh, this one good for two runs. Oakland finished the scoring with a run in the ninth as Dwayne Murphy homered off Marty Pattin to start the inning.

Norris, who picked up his 21st win of the season, retired 12 straight at one point. Kansas City did have a chance to climb back into the game at one point. Already trailing 8-3 in the seventh, the Royals got a one-out double from Amos Otis and a two-out walk by Pete LaCock. But Wilson hit a harmless fly ball to center and the threat was over. Norris worked around a two-out walk in the eighth and finished the game with a perfect ninth.

The loss dropped the Royals to 92-58 on the season and gave Oakland a victory in the three-game series. It also gave Oakland a 7-6 edge as the season series wrapped up.

George Brett watch: 1-4 with the two-run home run. Season stats: .394/.458/.659

Box score and play-by-play:

1980 news: In Baltimore, two of the three presidential candidates participated in the first televised debate. Republican challenger Ronald Reagan was joined on stage by independent candidate John B. Anderson. President Jimmy Carter, the Democrat in the race, had wanted a debate with Reagan only, and so declined to appear in this one. Reagan and Anderson had few agreements, but both seemed eager to attack Carter’s record. While the general media consensus was that Anderson had prevailed, Reagan gave a better than expected performance and Anderson’s polling numbers began to drop off after the debate.

1980 news: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, the world’s largest, opened a new terminal that covered 2.5 million square feet and was designed to accommodate 55 million passengers per year. 

1980 sports news: The Chiefs fell to 0-3 with a 20-13 loss in Cleveland. Their offensive struggles continued as the loss meant Kansas City had managed just 43 points in three games. However, they did have a chance to tie the game late before running back James Hadnot fumbled at the Cleveland 11-yard line.

Today’s birthdays: Ewing Kauffman (1916), Gary Lance (1948), Aurelio Lopez (1948), Carlos Rosa (1984), Jeremy Jeffress (1987)

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