For a Royals team that was struggling to win home games, a visit from the expansion Toronto Blue Jays was the perfect remedy. Kansas City spotted the visitors an early lead, then came roaring back for a 6-1 win on a Friday night at Royals Stadium.
Royals starter Jim Colborn wasn’t sharp in the first inning, as Bob Bailor led off with a double. With two outs, Colborn issued walks to Otto Velez and Ron Fairly, then threw a wild pitch that allowed Bailor to score. But Colborn got a popup from Doug Ault to escape the jam.
It took a bit for the Royals to solve Blue Jays starter Bill Singer, who allowed just one hit in the first three innings. But in the fourth, George Brett led off with a single, although he would be forced out at second on Hal McRae’s grounder. Tom Poquette doubled to move McRae to third. Toronto decided to intentionally walk John Mayberry, which backfired when a wild pitch allowed McRae to score. With two outs, Darrell Porter singled to drive in two runs, giving the Royals a 3-1 lead.
Porter came through again in the sixth. McRae led off with a walk but was still at first with two men out. Amos Otis hit a ground ball to second baseman Pedro Garcia, whose throw to second sailed into short left field. McRae stopped at third and scored on another Porter single.
Kansas City sealed the game with two runs in the seventh. Freddie Patek led off with a single, took second on a groundout, and then stole third. He scored on Brett’s single. After a grounder moved Brett to second, he scored on a Poquette single, which gave the Royals their final margin of victory.
The Royals improved to 11-7 with the win, although they still held just a 5-6 mark at home. They vaulted into first place in the AL West, percentage points ahead of Oakland.
Box score and play-by-play:
1977 baseball news: AL President Lee MacPhail announced that Texas pitcher Bert Blyleven would be suspended three games and fined $500 for throwing at Porter during the April 27 game.
Today’s birthdays: Bob McClure (1952), Danny Garcia (1954), Steve Crawford (1958), Wes Gardner (1961)