This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: April 23

The Royals scored five runs in the fifth inning on their way to an 8-6 win over the Mariners at the Kingdome in Seattle.

Mariners starter Stan Thomas had allowed just one walk through the first four innings, with that batter promptly erased on a double play. But after Seattle scored two runs in the fourth to take the lead, the Kansas City offense came to life. John Mayberry reached on an error by Thomas to start the inning. Darrell Porter followed with a single. Amos Otis hit a foul popup down the right field line; first baseman Dan Meyer tracked it down but the runners alertly tagged up and moved up a base. Al Cowens grounded back to Thomas, who threw out Mayberry at home. But Freddie Patek doubled to tie the game at 2-2. After Frank White walked, George Brett singled to score one run. Hal McRae doubled to drive in two more runs and give the Royals a 5-2 lead.

Seattle rallied in the sixth to tie the game. Ruppert Jones reached on an infield single, but Royals starter Dennis Leonard retired the next two hitters. Meyer reached on a Brett error, and Bill Stein tripled to score two runs. Bob Stinson singled to tie the score, and the Mariners had three unearned runs to answer the five unearned ones the Royals had scored.

Mariners reliever Diego Segui got two quick outs in the seventh, but White singled and stole second. After a Brett walk, McRae singled to center. White scored easily, and Jones made a bad throw to third that allowed Brett to score as well for a 7-5 lead.

Kansas City then added an insurance run in the eighth, thanks in large part to Otis. The speedy center fielder singled and stole second, then scored on a Cowens single.

That became a big run when the Mariners scored in the bottom of the eighth, with Steve Braun scoring on Stein’s single. Leonard got the final out of the inning, then turned it over to Larry Gura, who picked up his second save in two days with a perfect ninth inning.

The Royals improved to 8-5 with the win. They were in third place in the AL West, but just a half-game behind first-place Chicago and Oakland.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Rich Thompson (1979), Emilio Bonifacio (1985)

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