The Royals won their fourth straight, once again using a big inning, with a 7-4 triumph over the Yankees on Friday night at Royals Stadium.
This time, it was a fifth inning outburst that carried Kansas City to the win. Trailing 3-1 when they came to bat, the Royals exploded for five runs, chasing New York starter Ron Guidry from the game. Darrell Porter and Freddie Patek started the inning with singles. Frank White, who had collected six hits in the last two games against Detroit, showed bunt on the first two pitches before swinging away on the third. It was a good decision, as he planted a Guidry fastball in the seats in left field, just his third homer of the year. George Brett followed with a single. With one out, Amos Otis singled to right center. Brett raced around the bases, beating the throw home while Otis moved up to second. Al Cowens greeted reliever Dick Tidrow with a double, bringing Otis in for a 6-3 lead.
Two-out, back-to-back doubles from Cowens and John Mayberry gave the Royals another run in the seventh.
Royals starter Paul Splittorff was solid, except for the top of the fifth when the Yankees scored three runs. The inning began with singles from Graig Nettles, Bucky Dent, and Mickey Rivers to score one run. Roy White walked to load the bases, and Thurman Munson singled to drive in two more. But Splittorff got Lou Piniella to ground into a double play, then retired Chris Chambliss on another ground ball.
Splittorff worked into the ninth inning, scattering 10 hits (of course, four of them came in that fifth inning). Reggie Jackson started the ninth with a double, and Splittorff gave way to Doug Bird, who gave up a single to Willie Randolph. That brought Steve Mingori out of the bullpen. Although he gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Cliff Johnson, Mingori got the last three outs to notch his third save of the season.
Kansas City’s first run came in the second, when Joe Zdeb reached on an infield single with two outs. Porter doubled to drive him in, although Porter was thrown out at third to end the inning.
The win lifted the Royals to 49-38. They remained in second place in the AL West, 3.5 games behind Chicago.
Box score and play-by-play:
1977 baseball news: Reserves for the National League All-Star team were announced by manager Sparky Anderson. The Cincinnati skipper selected catchers Ted Simmons (St. Louis) and John Stearns (New York), infielders Willie Montanez (Atlanta), Manny Trillo (Chicago), Garry Templeton (St. Louis), Pete Rose (Cincinnati), and Mike Schmidt (Philadelphia), and outfielders Ken Griffey (Cincinnati), Reggie Smith (Los Angeles), Dave Winfield (San Diego), Jerry Morales (Chicago), and Ellis Valentine (Montreal).
Today’s birthdays: Wilson Delgado (1972), Miguel Olivo (1978)