This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: September 6

Al Cowens had a huge night, going 5-5 with two home runs as the Royals blasted the Mariners, 10-0, on Tuesday night at the Kingdome in Seattle.

Cowens added two singles and a double to his two home runs, collecting five hits in a game for the second time in 1977. He scored four runs and drove in four as well.

“This is the biggest night in my career,” he said after the game. “For one thing, it’s the first time I’ve hit two homers in one game.”

Cowens, who had eight career home runs coming into the season, ran his season total to 20 when he homered in the first inning off Mariners starter Rick Honeycutt. Hal McRae had walked with one out and George Brett followed with an RBI double before Cowens’ long ball made the score 3-0.

In the third inning, Cowens struck again. McRae led off with a single but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. But Honeycutt hit Brett with a pitch and Cowens blasted his 21st homer of the year for a 5-0 lead. That finished Honeycutt’s evening, but not the Royals’ scoring.

Diego Segui took over for Honeycutt and kept the Royals off the board until the fifth. This time, Cowens doubled with one out, then scored when John Wathan singled with two outs.

The Royals put the game away in the sixth. Freddie Patek tagged Segui for his fourth home run of the year to start the inning. Segui got the next two hitters, but McRae walked and Brett doubled. Bob Galasso took over for Segui but threw a wild pitch. McRae scored but Brett was tagged out at the plate when he tried to score as well. Still, Kansas City led 8-0

Kansas City’s final two runs came in the seventh, as Cowens led off with a single and Amos Otis hit his 15th homer of the season for a 10-0 advantage.

Royals starter Paul Splittorff was the beneficiary of all this offense, as he held the Mariners to two hits and two walks over six innings. He picked up four strikeouts and improved to 13-6. But he left after the sixth inning with a sore back. Randy McGilberry pitched two scoreless innings in his major-league debut, and Mark Littell, who had been out of action with a sore back of his own for two weeks, finished out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The win was the seventh straight for the Royals, who improved to 82-54. They maintained their 5.5-game lead in the AL West over Chicago.

Off the field, the Royals announced their plan for playoff tickets if they went on to win the division. The Western Division winner would host games on October 7, 8, and 9 (the last two if necessary). Fans were asked to send their ticket requests for the random drawing by September 12, with a limit of four tickets for one game only per order. Tickets were priced at $7 for reserved seats and $4 for general admission.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Fran Healy (1946), Mark Teahen (1981)

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