This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: April 1

A back-and-forth game ended with the Royals on top, as they scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 12-9 win over the Pirates in Bradenton.

Buck Martinez and Pete LaCock each had singles in the eighth inning, before Joe Zdeb smacked a three-run home run for the winning margin.

The Royals enjoyed a five-run second inning, facing Pirates starter John Candelaria, but Pittsburgh fought back with three runs in the seventh. That tied the game at 9-9. Reliever Mark Littell took over for KC starter Jim Colborn to keep the game tied; Littell would earn the victory when the Royals scored those three runs in the eighth. Larry Gura pitched the final two innings without incident to keep Kansas City in front.

Off the field, the Royals sent two more players to minor-league camp: catcher Steve Patchin and shortstop U L Washington. That left the team with 29 players on the major-league roster, with four more players to be moved before Opening Day on April 7.

1977 baseball news: Baseball fans everywhere could now look forward to a weekly program of highlights and news from around the league, as This Week In Baseball premiered in syndication. Inspired by the NFL’s weekly highlights shows, TWiB, hosted by great Yankees broadcaster Mel Allen, was MLB’s first attempt at this sort of program. With ESPN and Sportscenter still two years away, TWiB became a touchstone for baseball fans who might see a couple of nationally televised games in a week and usually had to deal with a limited broadcast schedule for their local team.

Today’s birthday: Manny Castillo (1957)

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