The Royals reached the All-Star break in style, with a six-game winning streak thanks to an 8-4 win over New York on Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.
Kansas City grabbed the lead in the second inning against Yankees starter Ken Clay. With two outs, Amos Otis picked up the Royals’ first hit, a single. He then stole second, but was able to trot home when Darrell Porter hit his ninth home run of the year for a 2-0 lead.
Royals starter Andy Hassler was sharp early, getting the first 11 outs on ground balls. The Yankees had two runners reach on errors and also had one walk, but did not have a hit until Reggie Jackson hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth.
It didn’t take the Royals long to get that run back. Pete LaCock walked to start the bottom of the fourth, and Al Cowens doubled to bring him home. Reliever Dick Tidrow replaced Clay, but a groundout moved Cowens up to third and he scored on an Amos Otis sacrifice fly.
Hassler walked Bucky Dent with one out in the fifth. Willie Randolph doubled to score Dent, cutting the Royals’ lead to 4-2. But Hassler went back to inducing ground balls, getting two more to end the inning.
The Royals then blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth. LaCock walked with one out and reached second on a passed ball. With two outs, Joe Lahoud drew a walk. Otis doubled to drive in both runners. After Tidrow issued an intentional walk to Porter, Freddie Patek hit a popup behind second base. Randolph, who was not wearing sunglasses, lost the ball in the glare and it fell in behind him. Both runners scored on the play, which was ruled a single, and Kansas City had an 8-2 lead.
Hassler left the game in the seventh after Fran Healy walked and Hassler committed a throwing error on Dent’s comebacker with one out. Reliever Mark Littell surrendered an RBI single to Randolph but retired the next two hitters to keep the Royals’ lead at 8-3.
New York had one more rally, as Littell walked Chris Chambliss and Jackson in the eighth, sandwiched around a popup for the first out. Reliever Steve Mingori got Graig Nettles to hit a fly ball to center, but the Yankees got a run when Chambliss tagged up and headed for third. The Royals threw behind Jackson, but first baseman LaCock couldn’t handle the throw and Chambliss was able to score. But Mingori retired the next four hitters to end the game and send the Royals into the break with a winning streak.
The Royals improved to 51-38 with the win. They remained in second place in the AL West, 2.5 games behind Chicago.
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