This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: June 25

The Royals beat the Oakland A’s in Home Run Derby and on the scoreboard, using four homers to win, 6-4, on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

Every run in the game came as a result of a home run. The Royals started the scoring in the second with Darrell Porter’s solo home run off A’s starter Mike Norris. Kansas City increased the lead on John Mayberry’s 12th home run, which came with one out in the fourth. The solo shot gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Kansas City starter Jim Colborn was perfect for the first three innings, then worked around a single and a walk in the fourth. However, with one out in the fifth, he walked Mitchell Page. Tony Armas tied the game with a home run.

The score remained tied until the top of the seventh. Norris walked Pete LaCock to start the inning. Freddie Patek sacrificed LaCock to second, and a Cookie Rojas groundout moved LaCock to third. Joe Zdeb, pinch hitting for Tom Poquette, picked a good time to hit his first major league home run. The homer, off Oakland reliever Bob Lacey, gave the Royals a 4-2 lead.

The Royals added two insurance runs in the ninth. With one out, Dave Nelson delivered a pinch-hit double. Patek followed that with his second home run of the year, pushing the KC lead to 6-2.

Those two runs proved to be the difference when Oakland rallied in the ninth. Earl Williams led off with a single, but Colborn retired the next two batters. Page kept the A’s alive with a two-run home run. Reliever Mark Littell took over for Colborn and got pinch-hitter Willie Crawford to ground out, ending the game.

The win lifted the Royals to 35-33 on the season. They now had third place in the AL West all to themselves as they moved ahead of California and Texas. Kansas City trailed co-leaders Chicago and Minnesota by three games.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Dick Drago (1945), Bob Shirley (1954), Michael Tucker (1971)

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