This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: June 12

In a game that was more memorable for the uniforms than anything that happened on the field, the Brewers defeated the Royals, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

Sometime after Saturday night’s game, thieves broke into the Kansas City locker room and made off with practically all of the team’s uniforms, plus assorted gloves, shoes, and jackets. The Royals were forced to borrow some of Milwaukee’s road uniforms and equipment.

Perhaps the oddity of the situation threw off the Royals’ hitting ability, which seemed to desert them in this one. Milwaukee starter Jerry Augustine held KC to seven hits and one walk in his complete-game shutout. Augustine struck out four as he evened his season record at 7-7.

Royals starter Jim Colborn, traded from Milwaukee to Kansas City during the offseason, did not fare nearly as well against his former team. Colborn had jokingly predicted his second no-hitter of the season on Friday, and threw his glove to the ground in mock disgust after Von Joshua singled in the first inning. But that was about the last moment of levity for Colborn and the Royals in this game. He had to work around two baserunners in the second and third innings to keep the game scoreless, and the Brewers grabbed the lead in the fifth.

A bit ironically, Colborn got two outs in that inning before the trouble started. Robin Yount singled and Joshua doubled for the first run. Cecil Cooper singled to make the score 2-0. Sixto Lezcano walked, and a Don Money single pushed the lead to 3-0. Reliever Marty Pattin ended the inning by striking out Sal Bando.

Pattin did a good job in relief. He did walk Money to start the eighth, leading to Milwaukee’s fourth run when Tim Johnson doubled. But overall, Pattin only allowed two hits and two walks in 3 ⅓ innings.

The Royals had a couple of scoring opportunities, but were hurt by three double plays and a caught stealing. A pair of singles in the fifth went for naught when Joe Zdeb grounded into a double play. Amos Otis and Al Cowens started the seventh with singles, only for Hal McRae to bounce into a twin-killing that turned that inning around. Augustine finished the game by retiring seven of the last eight batters.

With the loss, the Royals fell to 27-29 on the season. They stayed in fifth place in the AL West but dropped to six games behind the front-running Minnesota Twins.

Box score and play-by-play:

1977 news: Just more than two days after he and several other inmates escaped from prison, convicted killer James Earl Ray was recaptured without incident. Authorities at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Tennessee found Ray, serving a 99-year prison sentence for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a pile of leaves roughly five miles from the prison. Ray would ultimately have a year tacked on to his sentence for the escape.

Today’s birthday: Keith Miller (1963)

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