Gaylord Perry passed the 3,500-strikeout milestone and Hal McRae and Willie Aikens hit consecutive third-inning home runs as the Royals defeated the Cleveland Indians, 5-4, last night in Kansas City.
Perry, 44, joined Walter Johnson, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan as the only major league players with 3,500 or more career strikeouts when he struck out the side in the sixth inning. He struck out Gorman Thomas for No. 3,499 and Julio Franco for No. 3,500. After Ron Hassey singled, Perry struck out Mike Fischlin.
Perry (4-11), released by Seattle earlier this season, won the 311th game of his career, striking out four and walking two in six innings. Dan Quisenberry came on in the seventh and earned his 25th save.
Perry's 3,500th strikeout earned a standing ovation from the crowd of 23,457. "That was sure nice," he said. "I've been in here before with other teams and noticed how the Kansas City fans seem to appreciate things. It was my first victory for the team and the strikeout came at the right time. All of that, and the reaction of the crowd made this a very good night."
After George Brett's first-inning sacrifice fly gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead against Len Barker (7-11), the Royals scored four more in the third.