This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: August 7

The AL West race kept tightening as the Royals completed a sweep of the White Sox with a walkoff 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.

Royals starter Marty Pattin and White Sox starter Ken Kravec faced off in a pitchers’ duel, and the score was 2-1 in favor of Kansas City entering the ninth inning. Oscar Gamble led off the ninth with a home run to tie the game, but the Royals got Pattin a well-deserved win in the bottom of the ninth. Amos Otis led off with a walk, and Lerrin LaGrow took over for Kravec. Al Cowens bunted Otis to second, and LaGrow walked John Mayberry intentionally. When the Royals sent Joe Lahoud to the plate as a pinch-hitter, Chicago brought in Randy Wiles to pitch, making his major-league debut. The Royals countered with John Wathan, who roped one into left field to score Otis for the win.

Kansas City was also the first team to score in the game. With two outs in the fourth, Cowens doubled and Mayberry singled for a 1-0 lead. Cowens’ double snapped a string of 11 straight outs for Kravec, who had worked around a George Brett triple to start the first and not allowed a baserunner since.

Pattin had retired 13 of 14 hitters, with the one reaching base erased on a double play, when Ralph Garr singled with one out in the sixth. Jorge Orta doubled to tie the game. Gamble walked and Lamar Johnson singled with two outs to load the bases, but Pattin escaped when Chet Lemon hit a ball to deep left field that was tracked down at the wall by Joe Zdeb for the final out. There was some poetic justice in that; the previous weekend in Chicago, with Pattin on the mound trying to close out a 2-1 win, Zdeb dropped a fly ball that led to the tying run, with the White Sox eventually winning in extra innings.

So Zdeb had redeemed himself for that error, but he earned a bit more in the seventh. Cowens led off with a double and took third on Mayberry’s groundout. Zdeb singled to left, putting the Royals back on top, 2-1.

With the win, the Royals improved to 61-45. They pulled to within 1.5 games of the White Sox in the division. Minnesota’s win in Cleveland put the Twins just a half-game behind Chicago. Meanwhile, Texas won in Detroit, moving to three games out of first.

Off the field, the Royals announced that pitcher Steve Busby would undergo knee surgery on Monday in Los Angeles. Busby had been attempting to recover from rotator cuff surgery in July 1976. He had pitched one game for Kansas City’s Class A farm team in Daytona Beach in 1977 but was shut down after more shoulder pain. 

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Jason Grimsley (1967), Marc Pisciotta (1970)

2 thoughts on “This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: August 7

  1. This was my first Royals game. I was 7 and my brother was 3. Dad taught us both how to keep score that day. Still have his program with his scorekeeping in it. We also got powder blue road jerseys sponsored by Commerce Bank. Ironically I financed a minivan through Commerce Bank years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice! One of my favorite memories is my dad teaching me how to keep score at a Royals-Yankees game, probably 1987 or 1988. I still have that scorecard somewhere.


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