The Royals scored nine runs in the third inning as they cruised to a 16-2 win over the Tigers on a Saturday afternoon in Detroit.
Kansas City held a 1-0 lead entering the third inning, as Amos Otis singled, stole second, and scored on an Al Cowens single in the second. Facing Tigers starter Ray Bare, the Royals started the third with four straight hits. Singles by Freddie Patek and Frank White preceded a George Brett home run. Hal McRae singled, chasing Bare from the game. Relief pitcher Jim Crawford got a strikeout, but issued walks to Otis and Darrell Porter before Cowens hit a ground ball that second baseman Tito Fuentes bobbled, allowing one run to score. Pete LaCock drew a walk for another run. Patek hit a sacrifice fly and White tripled to drive in two more runs. A walk to Brett finished Crawford’s outing, but reliever Steve Grilli allowed a run-scoring single by McRae before getting the final out of the inning.
The Royals were not finished scoring. Otis led off the fourth by tagging Grilli for a long home run to right field. Porter doubled, and singles by Cowens and LaCock brought him home for a 12-0 lead. Kansas City capped their offensive explosion with a four-run fifth inning. Porter drove in one run with a single before Cowens doubled to score two more. Reliever Bob Sykes took over for Grilli, but Patek doubled with two outs to increase the lead to 16-0.
Royals starter Andy Hassler scattered seven hits over six innings. He only struck out two, but issued just one walk. Dennis Leonard took over for Hassler to start the seventh and allowed Detroit’s two runs. Aurelio Rodriguez drew a leadoff walk, and Ron LeFlore doubled with one out, scoring Rodriguez. LeFlore was also able to score on the play when White committed a throwing error on the play. But Leonard did not allow any more hits, as he pitched the final three innings to earn the save.
Home plate umpire George Maloney left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Complaining of chest pains, he was taken to a Detroit hospital for overnight observation. Although he was hospitalized for a few days, he was ultimately cleared and returned to umpiring.
Box score and play-by-play: