Dennis Leonard’s six-hit pitching and a couple of key Milwaukee errors lifted the Royals to a 3-2 win on Saturday night at Royals Stadium.
A day after Royals pitching held the Brewers to five total hits in a doubleheader sweep, Leonard kept them in their slump. Von Joshua picked up Milwaukee’s first hit with two outs in the third, but did not get another hit until Charlie Moore singled to start the sixth. He was promptly erased when Joshua grounded into a double play.
The Brewers’ offense finally showed some life in the seventh. With the Royals ahead 3-0, Don Money doubled with one out. A Sal Bando single got Milwaukee on the board. Ed Kirkpatrick followed with a single. Jim Wohlford grounded into a forceout at second. Jamie Quirk’s single pulled Milwaukee to within 3-2, but Leonard got Moore to ground out, and the inning was over. Leonard then retired the last six hitters to finish out his 15th win of the season. He collected nine strikeouts and didn’t walk anyone.
Milwaukee starter Lary Sorensen also pitched well, holding the Royals to five hits, but was hurt by his defense. That began in the first inning. George Brett led off with a walk, and Hal McRae singled and moved up to second on the throw to third, which was too late to get Brett. Shortstop Robin Yount booted a Pete LaCock grounder, allowing Brett to score and McRae to reach third. Al Cowens grounded out, but McRae was able to score on the play for a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers’ third error of the day helped Kansas City score the run that proved to be the difference. Amos Otis led off the fifth with a single. Freddie Patek put down a bunt, but Otis beat the throw to second and the Royals had two runners on. Frank White also bunted, but third baseman Bando couldn’t handle the throw from Sorensen, and Otis raced home to make the score 3-0. Sorensen did a nice job limiting any further damage, as Patek and White pulled off a double steal with one out, but McRae grounded back to the mound and LaCock flied out to left to end the threat.
The Royals improved to 79-54 with the win. They stayed in first place in the AL West. Chicago won while Minnesota and Texas lost, so Kansas City held a four-game lead over the White Sox, five games over the Rangers, and 5.5 games over the Twins.
Box score and play-by-play:
Today’s birthday: Dave Clark (1962)