The Royals, using power from a couple of unlikely sources, picked up a 7-3 win over the Orioles in Fort Myers.
Outfielder Al Cowens, who hit three home runs in the 1976 season, hit his third home run of the spring. This one was a grand slam that proved to be the difference. Shortstop Freddie Patek also hit a home run, tying the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning. That meant his spring training total of one dinger also matched his 1976 season total.
Following his big home run, Cowens’ numbers for spring training included a .355 average and 18 RBI. Those were encouraging signs for the outfielder, who had been challenged by manager Whitey Herzog to add some pop to his repertoire.
With the win, the Royals improved to 16-8 in exhibition play.