This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: April 1

Roger Nelson held his former teammates scoreless for six innings as the Royals defeated Baltimore 3-0 in Miami.

Nelson was selected by the Royals in the previous fall’s expansion draft, despite a 4-3 record and 2.41 ERA in 19 games with the Orioles in 1968. On this day, he scattered four hits while walking one and picking up one strikeout. Mike Hedlund followed with three perfect innings in relief to complete the shutout.

Offensively, Kansas City was led by catcher Ed Kirkpatrick, who singled with the bases loaded in the second inning to drive in two runs. The Royals added one more run in the ninth on doubles by Joe Keough and Fran Healy. Keough also had a single and scored two runs in the game.

Off the field, the Royals made a key acquisition, trading pitcher John Gelnar and outfielder Steve Whitaker to the Seattle Pilots for outfielder Lou Piniella. Whitaker hit .250/.323/.440 in 130 plate appearances for the Pilots in 1969, but was out of the majors after the 1970 season. Gelnar went 3-10 with a 3.31 ERA for Seattle but would not pitch in the big leagues after 1971. Meanwhile, Piniella won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1969 and hit .286/.327/.404 in five seasons with Kansas City.

Today’s birthday: Manny Castillo (1957)

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