The Athletics’ return to Municipal Stadium was a success for Oakland, which picked up a narrow 2-1 victory over the Royals in the first game of a series shortened to three games by rain.
Kansas City’s Roger Nelson started the game in style, striking out the side in the first inning. He neatly worked around a leadoff error in the second and a leadoff double in the third. But he couldn’t escape trouble in the fourth. Reggie Jackson led off that inning with a single and scored on Sal Bando’s double. One out later, Dick Green singled to drive in Bando for a 2-0 lead.
However, Nelson did pitch two more scoreless innings, leaving after the sixth having given up just the two runs.
Unfortunately, the Royals’ offense couldn’t pick him up. Oakland starter Blue Moon Odom stifled the Royals’ bats, allowing just two hits and one walk through the first six innings. Finally, in the seventh, Kansas City got on the board. Mike Fiore led off with a walk, but Joe Foy bounced into a forceout. Lou Piniella tripled, bringing Foy home. But Jerry Adair and Bob Oliver both failed to bring the tying run home.
The Royals had one more chance to tie the game, as pinch-hitter Hawk Taylor started the ninth with an infield single. A sacrifice bunt pushed pinch-runner Tom Burgmeier to second. After Foy drew a walk, Oakland reliever Lew Krausse got popups from Piniella and Adair to end the game.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196904190.shtml