It was ten innings of thrust and parry in Kansas City last night, but in the end, the Royals delivered the Philadelphia Phillies the coup de grace to take the third game of the World Series 4-3.
The winning run came in the bottom of the tenth as Royal first baseman Willie Mays Aikens hit a single worthy of his namesake with two on and two out to drive left fielder Willie Wilson home from second.
Now trailing the Phillies two games to one, the Royals will try to tie up the best-of-seven series today in Kansas City.
The two teams played seesaw ball from the start. Geroge Brett, back in action after a hemorrhoid operation, turned on the Royals' scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning, smacking a Dick Ruthven change-up over the center field fence.
The Phillies made it 1-1 in the second when Rich Gale dealt a pair of singles to Manny Trillo and Larry Bowa, walked Bob Boone, and played a hard-hit grounder by Lonnie Smith to first as Trillo came home.
The Royals notched their second run in the fourth, as Willie Mays Aikens smashed a triple and came home on a Hal McRae single. And the Phillies answered in turn as Mike Schmidt led off the fifth inning with a long home run over the left-center field fence.
It was Amos Otis's turn in the seventh, as the centerfielder's homer made it 3-2 Kansas City. Otis was a standout defensively as well, ending the game with a Series record of nine putouts.
In the top of the eighth, the Phillies knotted the contest at 3-3 as Bowa beat out an infield chop, Smith drew a walk, and Pete Rose connected for the first time this series, pounding a single to drive Bowa in.
The Phillies set a record of their own in top of the ninth, leaving two men on base for a game total of fourteen left on. Kansas City was no more successful as Otis hit into a double play, voiding a McRae single, and Darrell Porter popped out to right field.
An unassisted double play by second baseman Frank White saved the Royals' skin in the top of the tenth, as White scooped up a Schmidt line drive and picked Boone off of second.
Royals Destroy Yankees in A.L. Opener, 7-2; Dodgers Click, 7-1, Draw Even With PhilliesHal McRae, John Mayberry and Al Cowens launched home runs yesterday afternoon in the first game of the American League
ScoreboardTODAY'S GAMES Women's soccer at UConn, 3 p.m. WORLD SERIES The Philadephia Phillies edged Kansas City, 7-6, in Game 1.
Philly Flips Royals in OpenerThe Philadelphia Phillies weren't tired. Despite a tough five-game playoff with the Houston Astros, the Phillies came out slugging and
Philadelphia Rally in Ninth Gives Phils 4-3 Win, 3-2 LeadMike Schmidt powered a two-run homer, then triggered a ninth-inning Philadelphia rally with a single as the Phillies, true to
Phils Top Royals, 4-1, to Take SeriesThe Philadelphia Phillies, boosted by the pitching of Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw and the hitting of Mike Schmidt, won
Phils Defeat Expos, Magic Number Is 4The Philadelphia Phillies reduced their magic number to four in the National League East last night when Larry Bowa singled