Facing an 0-2 hole, the Kansas City Royals got back in the 1985 World Series with a Game 3 win. Exactly 32 years ago, Bret Saberhagen threw a complete game to help the team avoid another loss.
(Editor’s note: This is one of several on-this-date posts that KoK will publish throughout the 2017 postseason. They will highlight the postseason success of the Kansas City Royals over the years with particular emphasis given to 2014 and 2015—given the strong ties to the current squad.)
The Kansas City Royals’ second World Series appearance looked destined for disaster after St. Louis won the first two games on the road to take a commanding lead. Then Bret Saberhagen took matters into his own hands—or at least his right one.
The American League Cy Young winner in 1985, Saberhagen put together one of the best seasons in franchise history. However, he had labored through a tough ALCS. He came back with a strong performance in Game 3 of the World Series, though. It helped lead the Kansas City Royals to a huge 6-1 victory. That win, which took place on this date 32 years ago, kept the Cardinals from taking a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
How it Happened
Saberhagen held St. Louis scoreless in the first three innings to allow Kansas City to grab the lead in the top of the fourth. After a sacrifice bunt by Saberhagen, Lonnie Smith hit a two-out, two-run double to break the scoreless deadlock. The Royals doubled their lead when Frank White hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to chase Cardinals starter Joaquin Andujar.
St. Louis finally got on the board with a Jack Clark RBI-single in the sixth inning to pull the Cardinals within 4-1. The Kansas City Royals came right back in the top half of the seventh to put the game away. White doubled home George Brett for his third RBI of the game. Buddy Biancalana extended the team’s lead to 6-1 with a run-scoring single later in the inning.
For good measure, Saberhagen retired the side in order each of the final three innings. Here’s the final out:
The out finished off an impressive complete game effort for Saberhagen. The right-hander struck out eight while allowing just six hits and a walk.
Offensively, five players finished with two hits for the Kansas City Royals. White led the way with his 2-for-4 performance, one walk and three RBI. Brett, meanwhile, reached in all five plate appearances—two hits and three walks.
Even though it would ultimately be his worst performance of the World Series, the game will be remembered for Saberhagen’s stellar outing.