The Royals managed only four hits and one run as they lost 3-1 to the Houston Astros in Fort Myers.
Kansas City actually started the game with a bang, as George Spriggs led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on a Mike Fiore single. But Houston starter Larry Dierker and two other pitchers held the Royals to two hits and two walks over the rest of the game. Dierker struck out four hitters in his four innings.
Roger Nelson pitched well over four innings for Kansas City, but his error on a pickoff throw helped Houston score two runs in the fourth inning to take the lead. Nelson allowed five hits and had two strikeouts on the day. Houston tacked on an unearned run in the fifth for insurance.
The Royals’ offense maintained its slumber until the ninth, when Joe Keough and Dennis Paepke singled with two outs. But Paul Schaal flied out to end the threat and the game.
Today’s birthday: Scott Downs (1976)