TORONTO--Dave Stieb posted eight shutout innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Kansas City Royals, 6-1, before a near-capacity crowd last night at Exhibition Stadium here.
The victory gives the Blue Jays a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. The two teams meet this afternoon at 3:05 p.m. in the second game.
Under cloudy skies, the Jays showered the Royals and starter Charlie Liebrandt with singles. The hosts put together a two-run second and three-run third to grab an early commanding lead.
The runs were more than enough for Stieb (14-13 in 1985), who allowed but three hits in his eight-inning, post-season debut.
Stieb utilized an assortment of pitches, relying particularly on an outstanding curve ball to strike out eight Royals. At one stretch the fiery righthander set down 12 straight Royals.
Two of those three hits were yielded to Royal third baseman George Brett, who was three-for-four on the evening with two singles and a double.
With those three hits, Brett raised his lifetime championship series batting average to .357 and his hit total to 30, just two shy of the A.L. Championship Series record of 32 held by Reggie Jackson.
The major league reocrd for lifetime hits in championship series play belongs to Pete Rose, the player-manager of the Cincinnati Reds, who has 45.
Tom Henke pitched the Toronto ninth in relief of Stieb and allowed the sole Royal run on two hits.
Liebrandt, Steve Farr, Mark Gubicza and Danny Jackson all worked in a losing cause for the Royals.
The balanced Toronto attack was highlighted by aggressive George Bell baserunning.
Royal manager Dick Howser's lifetime post-season record dropped to 0-10 with the loss.
On an offbeat note, the Iorg brothers, Toronto's Garth and Kansas City's Dane became the first pair of siblings ever to meet in championship series history. The Iorgs went two-for-two on the evening.
Dane rapped a pinch hit double and his brother singled and scored. Mrs. Iorg is known to be quietly rooting for her younger son's Jays.
This afternoon, southpaws Jimmy Key (15-6) and Bud Black (10-15) square off in the pivotal second game.
Tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers meet at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles at 8:35 p.m. EDT in the National League Championship Series opener.
John Tudor (21-9) goes for the visitors against the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela (17-10).