The Royals saw their franchise-record 10-game winning streak come to an end, as they failed to capitalize on 10 hits and four walks in a 4-2 loss to the Orioles on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
Orioles starter Mike Flanagan allowed all 10 hits and three of the walks, but was mostly able to escape trouble as the Royals went 1-7 with runners in scoring position. Kansas City left 10 men on base.
Despite that, the Royals did score first. Freddie Patek led off the fifth with a single. With one out, George Brett singled, moving Patek up to third. Hal McRae doubled to drive in Patek, with Brett stopping at third. Flanagan issued an intentional walk to Amos Otis, then got Al Cowens to ground into a double play, ending the inning with Kansas City ahead, 1-0.
Royals starter Jim Colborn worked around some trouble of his own, keeping Baltimore scoreless through five innings despite errors by Brett in the second and Patek in the third. Colborn had retired nine straight when Lee May singled with two outs in the sixth. Doug DeCinces doubled, putting runners at second and third. Andres Mora singled to drive in both runners and give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Baltimore added two more runs in the seventh. Dave Skaggs led off with a single and Al Bumbry doubled. Rich Dauer’s double drove in two more runs, pushing the lead to 4-1 and chasing Colborn from the game. Dauer was thrown out at third on the play, and Steve Mingori got the last two outs of the inning, but the Royals’ winning streak was in serious jeopardy.
Kansas City’s last gasp came in the ninth. Joe Zdeb led off with a single, but Flanagan retired the next two hitters. Brett doubled to score Zdeb. Dennis Martinez replaced Flanagan but struggled with his control. A wild pitch moved Brett to third, and McRae drew a walk. But Martinez recovered to strike out Otis and end the game.
The Royals dropped to 74-52 with the loss. They remained in first place in the AL West, but Chicago won to move within two games of Kansas City. Minnesota lost and Texas won, so both teams sat three games back.
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Today’s birthdays: Jim York (1947), Buddy Bell (1951), Brian McRae (1967), Billy Buckner (1973)