This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: August 21

The Royals won their fifth straight game, scoring three runs in the eighth for a 6-4 win over Boston on Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.

With the game knotted at 3-3, Boston relief ace Bill Campbell returned to the mound for the eighth after recording the last two outs of the seventh. Al Cowens began the rally with a single. With one out, Darrell Porter singled and Amos Otis walked to load the bases. Campbell then walked pinch-hitter Joe Lahoud, forcing in the lead run. With two outs, Tom Poquette hit a grounder that first baseman George Scott made a nice stop on. But Campbell was late to cover first, and Poquette beat the throw. Meanwhile, both Porter and Otis raced home, giving the Royals a 6-3 lead.

Boston would score one run in the ninth, off reliever Doug Bird, who had pitched a scoreless eighth. One-out singles by Denny Doyle and Rick Burleson put runners at the corners, but Boston could only produce a run on Fred Lynn’s groundout, and Bird struck out Jim Rice to end the game.

The Royals built an early 2-0 lead against Red Sox starter Don Aase before Boston rallied to take the lead in the fifth. With one out in the second, John Mayberry reached on an error by second baseman Steve Dillard. Porter singled and Otis doubled for a 1-0 lead, although the inning ended when Freddie Patek’s line drive turned into a double play, with Porter being doubled off third.

Kansas City was back at it in the third. Frank White led off with a single and Poquette doubled to set up a promising scoring chance. But Hal McRae popped up. After an intentional walk to George Brett, Al Cowens hit a sacrifice fly and Mayberry lined out, and the Royals only got one run.

Royals starter Paul Splittorff held Boston scoreless for four innings, until Dwight Evans led off the fifth with a home run. Dillard followed with a double and Burleson singled, moving up to second when Cowens mishandled the ball in right field. Lynn’s groundout produced the game-tying run. Rice followed with an RBI single and Boston had a 3-2 lead.

That lead didn’t last long. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Poquette doubled. Brett hit a triple with two outs to score Poquette and tie the game. It stayed there until the Royals’ big eighth inning.

With the win, the Royals improved to 69-51. They stayed in first place in the AL West. Minnesota won, Texas lost, and Chicago split a doubleheader, so the Royals held a one-game lead over the White Sox and Twins, and 1.5 games over the Rangers.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Jesse Chavez (1983), Tim Collins (1989), Luke Weaver (1993)

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