The Royals scored four runs in the fourth on their way to their seventh straight win, a 5-2 victory over Baltimore on Tuesday night at Royals Stadium.
Kansas City had two quiet innings after leaving the bases loaded in the first, but John Mayberry started the fourth inning with his 20th home run of the season, this one off Orioles starter Mike Flanagan. With one out, right fielder Ken Singleton simply dropped Darrell Porter’s fly ball, allowing Porter to reach third. Freddie Patek drew a walk. Frank White’s grounder to third turned into an out when Doug DeCinces threw home to nail Porter. But George Brett hit his 16th home run of the year, giving the Royals a 4-2 lead.
Baltimore had scored twice in the top of the fourth. Facing Kansas City starter Jim Colborn, Singleton led off with a single. Lee May drew a walk. A groundout moved both runners up a base. Andres Mora’s grounder was muffed by Brett at third, allowing the Orioles to load the bases. DeCinces grounded into a forceout, with Singleton scoring. A wild pitch brought May in for Baltimore’s second run.
But Colborn would pitch into the ninth inning, allowing just six hits, although he did walk four. He was able to work around an Al Bumbry double in the fifth, a pair of two-out singles in the sixth, and a one-out single in the seventh.
DeCinces singled to lead off the ninth, but Colborn retired pinch-hitter Tony Muser on a popup. Pinch-hitter Pat Kelly worked a walk, and Larry Gura took over for Colborn. Gura picked up his ninth save when pinch-hitter Elliott Maddox grounded into a double play to end the game.
Kansas City’s last run came in the seventh, when Hal McRae tripled into the right-field corner with one out. Amos Otis hit a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 5-2 lead, which Colborn and Gura would successfully protect.
The win lifted the Royals to 71-51. They stayed in first place in the AL West, with a one-game lead over Minnesota. Chicago and Texas both lost, falling to two and 2.5 games back, respectively.
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