This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: April 26

The Royals overcame a 3-0 deficit to pick up a 6-3 win over Texas on a Tuesday night at Royals Stadium.

Texas scored twice in the third inning. With one out, Juan Beniquez doubled off Royals starter Andy Hassler. Bump Wills walked. Bert Campaneris singled to drive in one run, with Wills taking third. Campaneris stole second, and Wills scored easily when catcher Darrell Porter’s throw went into center field.

The Rangers added to the lead in the fourth, although they could have scored more than one run. Willie Horton led off with a single, and Toby Harrah walked. Ken Henderson hit a line drive off Hassler’s knee and reached first safely. Hassler was unable to continue pitching, and reliever Doug Bird took over with the bases loaded and no outs. But he got Jim Sundberg to ground into a forceout at home. Beniquez grounded out to third, with Harrah scoring, and Bird struck out Wills to end the inning.

Porter atoned for his throwing error in the fourth, with a double off Rangers starter Gaylord Perry. That scored Tom Poquette and John Mayberry, who had both singled with one out.

In the sixth, Mayberry continued his career mastery of Perry. The big first baseman had hit the first two home runs of his career off the future Hall of Famer back in 1970, as a member of the Houston Astros. Then, when he joined the Royals in 1972, Mayberry hit his first AL home run off Perry. In this game, he hit the seventh dinger of his career against Perry; this one came with Poquette aboard and gave the Royals a 4-3 lead.

Kansas City added two insurance runs in the eighth. Mayberry led off with a walk and took second on a groundout. Perry intentionally walked Porter, but Al Cowens tripled to drive in both runners.

Bird earned his first win of the season, finishing off the game with a perfect ninth inning. He held Texas to four hits over six innings, while striking out six and walking none.

Royals manager Whitey Herzog said after the game that X-ray results on Hassler’s knee were not back yet, but he expected the pitcher to miss at least two turns in the rotation. He said Marty Pattin would take Hassler’s spot for the time being.

With the win, the Royals improved to 10-6 on the season. They were in a three-way tie for second place in the AL West with Minnesota and Oakland; all three were a half-game behind Chicago.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Amos Otis (1947), Curt Wilkerson (1961), Brian Anderson (1972), Mike Wood (1980)

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