This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: August 11

Two Rangers pitchers shut down the Royals’ offense, as Texas downed Kansas City by an 8-3 score on Thursday night at Arlington Stadium.

Texas starter Doyle Alexander held the Royals hitless for 5 ⅓ innings, until George Brett hit a solo home run in the sixth. That was not actually the Royals’ first run; in the fourth, Hal McRae reached second on third baseman Toby Harrah’s error, then moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a John Mayberry groundout. So Brett’s home run cut the Texas lead to 4-2. McRae then drew a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and stopped at third on an Al Cowens single. Reliever Roger Moret got Mayberry on a fly ball, with McRae scoring, and would retire all 11 hitters he faced. So Kansas City was held to two hits for the game, along with two walks drawn by McRae.

Royals starter Jim Colborn, who had no-hit Texas in May and also shut them out for 8 ⅓ innings in July, was not as fortunate in this one. He was able to escape trouble in the first two innings thanks to double plays, but the Rangers grabbed the lead in the third. Jim Sundberg started the inning with a double. With one out, Mike Hargrove homered. That inning also ended with a double play, but Texas had a 2-0 lead.

Another two-run homer in the fifth pushed the lead to 4-1. With two outs, Bert Campaneris doubled and Claudell Washington homered. 

After the Royals had pulled to within 4-3, Texas got one run back in their half of the sixth. Dave May led off with a triple. With one out, Mark Littell replaced Colborn, but Bump Wills put down a suicide squeeze bunt to score May.

The Rangers put the game away in the eighth. Washington led off with a bunt single and moved up to second on a sacrifice. May singled to drive him in, then stole second. With two outs, Littell intentionally walked Wills, but Sundberg doubled to drive in both runners for an 8-3 lead.

With the loss, the Royals fell to 62-48. They dropped back to fourth place in the AL West, although they were only 2.5 games behind first-place Chicago. Minnesota remained in second place, just a half-game behind the White Sox. Texas was two games out of first.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Vada Pinson (1938), Mike Hedlund (1946), Melky Cabrera (1984)

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