After a day off from exhibition games, the Royals dropped a 5-3 decision to the New York Mets in St. Petersburg.
Kansas City scored three runs in the second inning, stringing together singles from Joe Foy, Bob Oliver, Fred Rico, and Jim Campanis, all against Mets starter Jerry Koosman. But the Royals could only manage five hits the rest of the game.
The Mets tallied single runs in each of the first three innings, and broke the 3-3 tie in the sixth. Ron Swoboda doubled before future Royals great Amos Otis singled to drive in the go-ahead run. New York added an insurance run in the seventh.
The Royals used three pitchers, and all three struggled. Starter Jon Warden allowed five hits and two walks in three innings. Mike Hedlund gave up the two hits in the sixth that gave the Mets the lead, and Jerry Cram allowed two hits and a run in two innings.