It took 15 innings, but the Royals extended their winning streak to eight games with a 4-3 win over the Brewers at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
Kansas City scored two runs in the fifth and then were held scoreless for nine innings. With one out in the 15th, John Mayberry drew a walk from Milwaukee reliever Lary Sorensen, on the mound for his second inning of work. John Wathan doubled to left-center; Mayberry raced around third and slid home safely as catcher Charlie Moore dropped the ball attempting to tag him. Wathan moved up to third on the play and scored easily on an Amos Otis single.
That run became the difference when Milwaukee scored a run in the bottom of the inning. Steve Mingori entered the game looking for his fourth save, but issued a one-out walk to Steve Brye. Singles by Jim Wohlford and Cecil Cooper brought Brye home, but Mingori got Don Money to ground into a double play, and the game was over.
The Royals got a strong start from Marty Pattin, thrust into the role when scheduled starter Mark Littell’s back injury flared up. Pattin scattered seven hits over 8 ⅓ innings, walking three and striking out two.
Milwaukee’s first run came when Sal Bando led off the second with a home run. But the Royals, who failed to take advantage of two walks from Jim Slaton in the second and a leadoff triple by Al Cowens in the fourth, jumped on top in the fifth. Bob Heise singled with one out, and two-out singles by Hal McRae, George Brett, and Cowens gave Kansas City a 2-1 lead.
That stood up until the seventh. Pattin had retired nine of the last 10 batters, but walked Robin Yount to start the inning. After a bunt, Moore singled to tie the score at 2-2.
Neither team put up much of a threat after that until the 15th. Milwaukee did manage to load the bases with two outs in the 11th, but Bird struck out Ken McMullen to keep the game going. Bird earned his 10th win of the year by pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out seven and only allowing one hit.
The win lifted the Royals to 72-51. Their eighth straight win tied a club record, set in 1975 and equaled by this team in late July. Texas swept a doubleheader while Minnesota and Chicago lost, so Kansas City held a two-game lead in the AL West over the Twins and Rangers, with the White Sox now three games back.
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