Two-run hits from Hal McRae and Frank White lifted the Royals to a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night at Arlington Stadium.
Texas scored two runs in the second off Royals starter Dennis Leonard. Dave May led off with a single. With one out, Bump Wills doubled to score May. Jim Sundberg singled to score Wills. Leonard would get out of the jam by getting Mike Hargrove to ground into a double play.
The Royals answered immediately, though. Facing Texas starter Gaylord Perry, George Brett drew a walk with one out. McRae then belted his 15th home run of the year, and the game was tied at 2-2.
Then Kansas City took the lead in the fourth. Perry retired the first two hitters, but Darrell Porter singled and Freddie Patek doubled. White stepped to the plate and smacked a line drive into left field, off the glove of shortstop Bert Campaneris. Both runners scored and the Royals were ahead, 4-2.
Texas threatened in the sixth, as Tom Grieve singled with one out and May followed with a walk. With two outs, Wills also drew a walk to load the bases. But Leonard got Sundberg to fly out to center to preserve the two-run lead.
Leonard kept the 4-2 lead into the eighth. May doubled with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Toby Harrah singled to make the score 4-3. Larry Gura relieved Leonard and got Wills to line into a double play. Gura then pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the year.
With the win, the Royals improved to 62-47. They also jumped over Texas into third place in the AL West. Chicago lost, meaning the Royals were 2.5 games out of first. Minnesota was idle so they picked up a half-game on the White Sox and were 1.5 games out. The Rangers remained three games out.
Box score and play-by-play:
1977 news: In New York, police finally caught up with the Son of Sam killer, thanks to a parking ticket. A few days after the killer’s most recent shooting, which was on July 31, a witness notified police that she had seen a strange man lurking near a car parked in front of a fire hydrant. Detectives began checking cars that had been ticketed there, and that led them to David Berkowitz. Police waited for him outside his apartment building in Yonkers, noticing a gun in plain sight in his car. A search of the car found ammunition, maps of the crime scenes, and a letter addressed to one of the task force detectives investigating the case. When Berkowitz emerged from his apartment that night and got in his car, police moved in and arrested him. Berkowitz wasted little time confessing to the six killings and nine other shootings, although he claimed his neighbor’s dog, named Sam, had commanded him to carry out the killings. Berkowitz is still serving his six consecutive 25 years-to-life sentences in New York.
Today’s birthdays: Sal Fasano (1971), Fernando Cortez (1981), Josh Anderson (1982)