This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: April 23

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Chuck Harrison’s single capped a Royals comeback from down three runs and gave Kansas City a 4-3 walkoff win over the Seattle Pilots at Municipal Stadium.

Harrison’s hit came with one out in the bottom of the ninth. The Royals entered the inning down 3-2 after scoring single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Seattle reliever Gene Brabender, who had recorded the last two outs in the eighth, got Joe Keough to ground out to start the inning. But Jerry Adair singled, and Bill Edgerton took over on the mound. Hawk Taylor delivered a pinch-hit double, moving pinch-runner Tom Burgmeier to third. The Pilots brought in their third pitcher of the inning, Jack Aker, to issue an intentional walk to Juan Rios. Harrison, pinch-hitting for pitcher Dave Morehead, foiled the strategy with a line drive into center.

Royals starter Roger Nelson scattered seven hits over eight innings, although he added three walks to the mix. Seattle started the scoring with a Don Mincher home run in the fourth, then added RBI singles from Tommy Harper in the fifth and Jerry McNertney in the sixth.

The Kansas City offense had been stymied by Seattle starter (and future Royal) Marty Pattin. Through six innings, the Royals had managed just two hits and Pattin had set down 15 batters in a row. That streak extended to 17 with the first two outs of the seventh, but Adair got the Royals on the board with an inside-the-park home run.

Then the Royals pulled to within one run in the eighth. Rios led off with a walk. With one out, Pat Kelly singled and Mike Fiore walked to load the bases. Brabender took over on the mound and got Lou Piniella on a fly ball that scored Rios, then got Joe Foy to ground out and end the inning. That set the stage for Harrison’s heroics.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Rich Thompson (1979), Emilio Bonifacio (1985)

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