Royals Win Playoff Opener; Astros Even N.L. Series, 7-4

The Kansas City Royals tagged Ron Guidry for four runs in three innings and defeated the New York Yankees, 7-2, in the opening game of the American League Championship Series at Kansas City. Ex-Yankee Larry Gura settled down after surrendering consecutive solo homeruns in the second inning, hurling five-hit ball over the remaining seven innings for a complete game victory.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the Houston Astros tied the National League Chamhionship Series at one game apiece with a four-run tenth inning en route to a 7-4 victory over thePhiladelphia Phillies.

After the Yankees homers, Kansas City tied the score in the bottom of the second as Frank White doubled in two runs. The Western Division Champions knocked Guidry out of the game in the third when Willie Mays Aiken (who was 0-for-12 lifetime against Guidry) drove in another pair with a two-out, bases-loaded bloop single to left.

New York threatened--but could not produce--against southpaw Gura. With men on first and third, and two out in the seventh, Gura forced Reggie Jackson to bounce to second to extinguish a Yankee threat.

A deep George Brett homer in the seventh, and a Willie Wilson two-run double in the eighth completed the scoring.


In Philadelphia, Jose Cruz singled home Terry Puhl in the tenth to put the Astros ahead, 4-3. Shortly after, alert pinch-runner Rafael Landestoy scored the eventual winning run from third on a Cesar Cedeno chopper to short. With Cruz on second, and Cedeno on first, Dave Bergman tripled home two more insurance runs.

The Phillies had two golden opportunities to win the game. In the bottom of the seventh, after singles by Larry Bowa and Bob Boone, and an intentional walk to Pete Rose to load the bases, relievers Joe Sambito and Dave Smith struck out Bake McBride and Mike Schmidt. In the ninth, with the bases filled, Frank Lacorte struck out Mannie Trillo and got Garry Maddox on a pop out