Brewers 9, Royals 6
Brewers now 46-35 (2nd)
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MILWAUKEE — Bottom of the fourth inning. Two outs. Two strikes. Bases empty. Paul Splittorff on the mound for the Royals. Ben Oglivie at the plate for the Brewers.
There is no reason to write about anything that happened in this 9-6 Brewers win over the Kansas City Royals other than that one-third of an inning. It was incredible. Glorious. Improbable. Breath-taking. Baffling.
All the Royals needed was one strike or one out, whatever came first. But Ben Oglivie singled to center. Don Money walked. Ed Romero singled to left to bring in a run. Charlie Moore singled to right to bring in another run. Paul Molitor walked to load the bases. Robin Yount hustled out an infield single to score another run. Cecil Cooper drove in two with a double to center.
Seven straight baserunners? With two outs and the bases empty? You’re kidding?
Well, that wasn’t all. It was all for Splittorff, but the Brewers weren’t quite done. Former Brewer Bill Castro came on to intentionally walk Ted Simmons to load the bases and face Gorman Thomas. Gorman then doubled in Yount and Cooper. Ben Oglivie then came up again and was also intentionally walked. Don Money then struck out to finally end the inning.
Ten batters. Seven runs. Six hits. Four walks. All with the bases empty and two outs.
“With two out,” Gorman Thomas reflected, “you more or less resign yourself to thinking the inning is over.”
Well, that “you” Gorman referred to is apparently anyone other than these Brewers.
“You never figure to score that many,” Gorman continued, “much less with two outs, much less with two outs and nobody on, much less with two outs and two strikes on the hitter.”
Gorman the philosopher is correct. “You” never figure that. But again. These are the Brewers.
Harvey Kuenn has only led this team for a shade over a month, and even he is bright-eyed regularly by the offensive production from this team. “I can’t remember ever seeing an inning like that one,” he said. “It just goes to show you how these guys are capable of battling, especially against a club as good as the Royals.”
Harvey Kuenn was a .303 career hitter who has seen a lot of baseball. This is not the first time this month when he has said that his team did something he had never seen before.
So the Brewers took a 7-1 lead that inning, the Royals battled back to make it somewhat interesting, Mike Caldwell pitched just well enough to hold on, and Rollie Fingers threw 10 of 11 pitches for strikes to get all three batters he faced. That was pretty much the story of the game other than that one-third of an inning.
Oh, and the Twins beat the Red Sox 4-1 in Boston today, meaning the Brewers are back to within a game of first place.
Game Notes: Jim Gantner received a cortisone shot in his ailing throwing shoulder and will not return until after the All-Star Break. … The Brewers and Chicago White Sox will make up their July 6 rainout on July 15 as part of a double header in Milwaukee. Although the originally scheduled game was played in Chicago, there are not any remaining games scheduled between the two teams there.