The Royals set a franchise record by smacking seven doubles as they breezed to a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Royals Stadium.
After a scoreless first inning, the Royals were on the attack for the next several innings, eventually building a 7-0 lead. In the second, Al Cowens led off with a double against Twins starter Geoff Zahn. John Mayberry singled, with Cowens stopping at third. Amos Otis grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Cowens being thrown out at home by third baseman Mike Cubbage. Freddie Patek singled to load the bases, and Darrell Porter walked to force in a run.
The Royals only got one run out of that, but did better in the third. George Brett led off with a single to left, but Larry Hisle mishandled the ball and Brett was able to reach third on the play. Hal McRae singled to score Brett. McRae was thrown out trying to steal second, but Cowens restarted the rally with a double. With two outs, Otis doubled to bring Cowens home for a 3-0 lead.
Porter started the fourth with a double off reliever Ron Schueler and scored on Frank White’s single. White reached third on the play when right fielder Glenn Adams couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Brett’s groundout brought White home, giving the Royals a 5-0 lead.
Kansas City added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Cowens started the fifth with a walk and scored on Patek’s two-out double. Tom Poquette drew a one-out walk in the sixth and scored on McRae’s double with two down.
Royals starter Jim Colborn took advantage of the run support and pitched six terrific innings. He retired 12 straight at one point, and only allowed two singles in the first six innings. The Twins finally broke through in the seventh. Adams led off with a single and stopped at third on Cubbage’s double. Rich Chiles hit a sacrifice fly to get the Twins on the board. After Colborn walked Butch Wynegar, reliever Steve Mingori took over. He promptly picked off Wynegar, then got a groundout to end the inning. Mingori worked around Rod Carew’s two-out triple and a walk in the eighth, then pitched a perfect ninth to close out the win. With the 2 ⅔ scoreless innings, Mingori ran his streak of zeros to 24 ⅔ innings.
The seven doubles the Royals hit stood as the club record until the 2003 Royals pounded out 11 of them against the Yankees.
With the win, the Royals improved to 29-31. They remained in fifth place in the AL West, although they picked up a game on the Twins and now were six games back.
Box score and play-by-play: