ROYALS 10, RED SOX 3
Friday, July 21, 1978 at Royals Stadium
Game 1251 – 9/23/12
A pair of home runs from KC backstop Darrell Porter and a three-run shot by designated hitter Hal McRae propelled the Royals to a 10-3 drubbing of the Red Sox at Royals Stadium in Kansas City.
Boston starter Mike Torrez (6-8) couldn’t find a groove while surrendering six runs on six hits over the first four innings, and was lifted in favor of Andy Hassler, who pitched well for two innings before coughing up three more runs in the sixth; Porter’s second HR of the night, and his 9th on the year, was good for one run, while a Pete LaCock triple and a Willie Wilson double accounted for two more. Bill Campbell served up the final Royals run in the same inning when George Brett’s deep fly-out to right field sent Wilson home from third.
Meanwhile, Royals starter Paul Splittorff pitched solidly for six innings before seeing his shutout spoiled when Bosox catcher Carlton Fisk led off the seventh with a triple, and scored when first baseman LaCock fumbled George Scott’s hot grounder down the line. The rally stalled there, however, and the Royals led by nine at 10-1.
With Splittorff still on the mound in the ninth, Boston pushed two more runs across the plate with one out; unfortunately, the attempt was too little, too late. Catcher Bob Montgomery—subbing for Fisk—coaxed a walk from Splittorff, then scored when Scott tripled to the gap; Rick Burleson knocked a hard double off the wall in left to score Scott, but that would be it for the Red Sox offense, as Splittorff (11-6) struck out Dwight Evans and watched pinch-hitter Frank Duffy lift a lazy fly to left fielder Wilson to end the 10-3 game.
The win kept the third-place Royals in the hunt for the AL West lead, lifting them to just five games back of the front-running Rangers, who were playing in Texas against the Brewers later that night. For the Red Sox, the loss dropped them to 11½ games back of the streaking Yankees in the AL East.
• The game was played at night at site AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to 4 by Foreigner.
• With a comfortable 10-1 lead in the eighth inning, the Royals brought four subs into the game to get some playing time: Joe Zdeb, Jerry Terrell, Tom Poquette, and U.L. Washington.
• The game, played on September 23rd, completed my mission of playing an SP78 game on every date of the month. Only 16 empty dates remain in the calendar year, with the next two coming October 3rd and 11th.