The Royals picked up their club-record 11th straight win in style, bludgeoning the Twins by a 10-1 score on Saturday night at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington.
The teams traded runs in the second inning. Al Cowens led off the top of the inning with a walk from Minnesota starter Dave Goltz, then stole second. With one out, Darrell Porter’s single put the Royals on top. The Twins tied it up in the bottom of the inning against Royals starter Paul Splittorff. The inning began with a Roy Smalley double. Bob Gorinski walked with one out. With two outs, Bob Randall doubled, scoring Smalley. But left fielder Joe Lahoud and shortstop Freddie Patek teamed up to throw out Gorinski at home, ending the inning.
But the Royals grabbed the lead back for good in the third. With one out, Frank White singled. George Brett singled, and White scored while Brett raced to third when right fielder Dan Ford mishandled the ball. Brett scored when Hal McRae grounded out, and the Royals had a 3-1 lead.
Kansas City added two runs in the fifth. Patek led off with a walk, followed by a White single. Brett singled to drive in one run, and McRae grounded into a forceout at second, with White coming in to score.
The score remained 5-1 until the eighth. Goltz retired the first two batters of the inning, but walked Cowens. John Mayberry’s single ended Goltz’s outing, but reliever Jim Shellenback failed to record an out. Porter singled for one run. Amos Otis drew a walk, loading the bases. Patek singled to drive in two more runs. Reliever Dave Johnson entered the game, but White singled for the fourth run of the inning.
The Royals added one last run in the ninth, as McRae led off with a single. Joe Zdeb grounded into a forceout. Cowens singled, and Mayberry greeted new pitcher Jeff Holly with an RBI single for the final 10-1 margin.
Splittorff pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits. He struck out five as he improved to 14-6 on the year.
The 11th straight win broke the franchise record of 10, first set all the way back on August 26 before the Royals lost in Baltimore. With wins in 22 of their last 25 games, Kansas City had grabbed a commanding eight-game lead over Chicago in the AL West.
Box score and play-by-play:
Today’s birthday: Anthony Swarzak (1985)