Six weeks after the start of spring training, Kansas Citians finally had a chance to see their team in person (without taking a trip to Florida, anyway). The Royals hosted their counterparts from the other side of Missouri, the defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals, in the first of two exhibition games at Municipal Stadium. And Kansas City held its own, losing a narrow 1-0 decision before 9,425 fans.
After Missouri governor Warren Hearnes threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Roger Nelson got the start in the Saturday afternoon affair. He pitched well, holding the Cardinals to one run in five innings. He allowed only two hits. Unfortunately, both came in the third inning and gave St. Louis the game’s only run. Cardinals starter (and Topeka native) Mike Torrez doubled, and Lou Brock followed with a triple to drive him in.
Bill Butler followed with three scoreless relief innings. Dave Wickersham managed to keep the Cardinals scoreless in the ninth despite issuing a walk and allowing two hits.
Torrez held the Royals’ offense to three hits and three walks in five innings, with reliever Dave Giusti pitching four scoreless innings to close out the game.
Today’s birthdays: Ron Hansen (1938), Jim Scranton (1960), Ross Gload (1976), Jorge de la Rosa (1981)