This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: April 13

For the first time in the regular season, the Royals tasted defeat, as the Yankees scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings for a 5-3 win at Royals Stadium.

New York shortstop Bucky Dent lined a double off the left-field fence in the eighth inning to score Willie Randolph with the go-ahead run. Randolph had reached on a two-out single off Royals starter Andy Hassler, which prompted manager Whitey Herzog to bring in reliever Doug Bird. But Dent foiled the strategy.

The Yankees tacked on a run in the ninth against relief pitcher Steve Mingori, who threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded after allowing two singles and an intentional walk.

Hassler pitched out of plenty of trouble before leaving the game, as he allowed nine hits in 7 ⅔ innings. He did strike out seven and only walked three.

The Yankees took the lead in the top of the first, as Mickey Rivers started the game with a single. He stole second and reached third on catcher Darrell Porter’s throwing error. After two strikeouts and a walk, Chris Chambliss singled for a 1-0 lead.

The Royals picked up back-to-back doubles off Yankees starter Ed Figueroa in the third, with Hal McRae scoring on John Mayberry’s hit to tie the game at 1-1.

New York jumped back in front in the fourth as Randolph reached on an infield single with two outs, stole second, and scored on a Dent single. And they added a run in the sixth with more small ball, as Graig Nettles singled with one out. He stole second and advanced to third on another throwing error by Porter. Two batters later, Rivers hit an infield single, allowing Nettles to score.

Kansas City picked up a run in the sixth as Mayberry led off with a double. Fly balls from Amos Otis and Porter brought him around. And in the seventh, the Royals tied the score, although they could have had much more. Freddie Patek doubled with one out, and Frank White’s double tied the score. Figueroa gave way to reliever Ron Guidry, who allowed a single to George Brett. But Rivers made a strong throw to home, and White was tagged out. McRae drew a walk. Mayberry worked the count full, then yanked a Guidry fastball down the right-field line, but it hooked into foul territory before landing in the seats. Guidry then threw another fastball, this one getting a swing and a miss to end the threat with the game still tied.

With the loss, the Royals dropped to 4-1 on the season. 

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Jose Diaz (1980), Lorenzo Cain (1986)

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