This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: June 21

After falling behind 3-0, the Royals began an offensive onslaught, pounding out 16 hits in a 13-3 whipping of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Royals Stadium.

Seattle produced two runs in the first inning against Kansas City starter Jim Colborn. With two outs, Dan Meyer drew a walk. Ruppert Jones and Leroy Stanton hit back-to-back doubles for the 2-0 lead. Then Bob Stinson led off the second with a double, and Craig Reynolds singled with one out for a 3-0 lead.

But then the Royals’ bats came to life. Mariners starter Glenn Abbott started the second by hitting John Mayberry with a pitch. Al Cowens followed with a home run, his 11th of the year, to cut the Seattle lead to 3-2.

Abbott got out of the second with the lead, but after singles by Tom Poquette and Hal McRae began the third, Tom House took over in relief. George Brett greeted him with a triple, putting the Royals in front. Mayberry’s groundout scored Brett. Cowens and Darrell Porter followed that with singles, with Cowens taking third and Porter moving up to second on the throw to third. After an intentional walk to Amos Otis loaded the bases, Freddie Patek’s groundout scored Cowens, and KC had a 6-3 lead.

McRae homered with one out in the fourth, pushing the lead to 7-3. Then the Royals blew the game open in the fifth. Facing reliever Dave Pagan, Patek and Frank White singled with one out. Poquette drew a walk. McRae hit a grounder that second baseman Jose Baez couldn’t handle. Two runs scored on the error. Brett followed with a double, scoring Poquette for a 10-3 lead.

That was the end of the scoring for that inning, but in the sixth, one-out singles by Patek, White, and Poquette produced a run. Diego Segui entered in relief of Pagan, but McRae’s double drove in two runs, giving the Royals their final 13-3 lead.

Colborn held the Mariners to four hits through seven innings, walking one and striking out four. He then turned the game over to Marty Pattin, who pitched two perfect innings to close it out.

With the win, the Royals jumped back up to .500, at 32-32. They were now in a three-way tie for third place in the AL West with California and Texas. All three teams were four games behind Chicago and Minnesota, who were tied for first in the division.

Box score and play-by-play:

1977 baseball news: As noted above, the Texas Rangers were firmly in the division race. So it came as a surprise to plenty of people when they decided to fire manager Frank Lucchesi. Technically, they decided to give him another role in the organization. Regardless, there would be a new man in charge in the dugout: Eddie Stanky, who had managed the Cardinals and White Sox but had been coaching the University of South Alabama’s baseball team since 1969.

Today’s birthdays: None

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