Mike Marshall did it all, collecting two hits, two RBI, and shutting down the Royals’ offense for 8 2/3 innings as Kansas City dropped a 4-1 decision to their expansion brethren, the Seattle Pilots, at Municipal Stadium.
Marshall allowed seven hits (five singles and two doubles), two walks, and struck out four before turning the game over to Jack Aker for the final out. Marshall retired 14 of the first 17 batters he faced. He also drove in runs with RBI singles in the seventh and ninth innings.
The Pilots took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning against Royals starter Steve Jones. Tommy Harper began the game with a bunt single, moved to second on a passed ball, then stole third. But he was still there after two strikeouts, until Jones hit Rich Rollins with a pitch, then uncorked a wild pitch with Don Mincher at the plate.
Seattle added to the lead with a Tommy Davis double in the third inning, then scored again in the seventh against reliever Dick Drago when another hit batter and a fielder’s choice set up Marshall’s first RBI single, making the score 3-0.
The Royals got on the board at last in the bottom of the seventh. Joe Foy led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Hawk Taylor’s single.
The Pilots added that insurance run in the ninth against reliever Dave Wickersham, who allowed a leadoff single to Jerry McNertney, followed by an error on Foy on an attempted bunt. Marshall singled again to drive in a run before Wickersham got a groundout and a line drive double play to end the inning.
The Royals got a one-out walk by Joe Keough and a two-out single by Jerry Adair in the ninth, getting the tying run to the plate, but Aker retired Juan Rios on a grounder to third to pick up the save.
Box score and play-by-play: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196904210.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Kip Wells (1977), Jeff Keppinger (1980)