Kansas City picked up its third straight win in the exhibition season, despite blowing a five-run lead. The Royals recovered to score three runs and beat the Texas Rangers by an 8-7 count in Fort Myers.
The Royals were led by first baseman John Mayberry, who cracked a two-run single and a three-run home run in the first two innings, staking the home side to a 5-0 lead. But Texas rallied for three runs in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth, off Jim Colborn and Steve Mingori.
Kansas City answered with three runs in the sixth, with singles by Frank White and Cookie Rojas driving in the runs. Texas did score one more run in the eighth, but could not fully close the gap.
Mayberry’s big day was an encouraging sign for the Royals and manager Whitey Herzog, who had asked Roger Maris to stop by the team’s facility and give his hitters, especially the big first baseman, some power-hitting tips. Mayberry had dropped from 34 home runs in 1975 to just 13 in 1976. Maris advised him to be more selective and also to not open up his hips so soon during his swing. The early returns were definitely positive.
Today’s birthdays: Randy Bass (1954), Terry Leach (1954), Jorge Fabregas (1970), Scott Sullivan (1971), Byron Gettis (1980), Mike Aviles (1981), Nicky Lopez (1995)