Rich Gale made his case for inclusion in the Royals’ playoff rotation with four scoreless innings, while George Brett had three hits, as Kansas City cruised to a 4-1 win over Seattle on a Wednesday night at Royals Stadium.
At one point in August, Gale’s spot in that postseason rotation seemed assured. He won 12 straight decisions from June 17 to August 23, with a 2.04 ERA in 88 ⅓ innings. But a bout of tendinitis led to a string of rough starts, and even extended rest periods didn’t seem to help. But with the postseason quickly approaching, the Royals needed to find out if they could use Gale, who admitted he probably couldn’t be effective as a reliever because he would need more time to warm up.
Gale made his case by holding Seattle to three hits and a walk, although he only picked up one strikeout. He managed to work around a leadoff double and a walk in the second and was also helped out by a double play and catcher Darrell Porter throwing out two Mariners on the bases.
Seattle starter Rob Dressler pitched well enough to win, holding the Royals to eight hits as he pitched a complete game with two hits and one strikeout. Brett ended up being Dressler’s biggest problem on the night, as no other Royal had more than one hit.
Kansas City took the lead in the first inning. Willie Wilson led off with a single and stole second. He then moved to third on a groundout. Dressler intentionally walked Brett, who also stole second. Dressler got two more groundouts, with Wilson scoring on one from Willie Aikens, to limit the damage.
The Royals tacked on two runs in the fourth. Brett led off with his 24th home run of the season, a new career high after he hit 23 in 1979. With two outs, Amos Otis reached on an infield single. He stopped at third when Clint Hurdle doubled. Mariners shortstop Mario Mendoza booted Frank White’s grounder, allowing Otis to score for a 3-0 lead.
Kansas City extended the lead in the fifth. Brett doubled with one out and scored when Porter singled with two outs.
Seattle’s lone run came when Reggie Walton homered off Marty Pattin to lead off the seventh. Pattin pitched four innings as well, holding the Mariners to two hits and no walks while striking out two. Ken Brett pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.
With the win, the Royals improved to 94-64. They maintained their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.
George Brett watch: 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a stolen base, and an RBI. Season stats: .391/.456/.670
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198010010.shtml
Today’s birthdays: John Schuerholz (1940), John Thomson (1973)