One game after a three-run comeback, the Royals failed to hold their own three-run advantage and lost 6-3 to the California Angels at Municipal Stadium.
Early on, it seemed the Royals had maintained momentum from the previous game, despite an off-day in betwen. They posted two runs in the first inning against Angels starter Rudy May. Pat Kelly led off with a walk, followed by a Mike Fiore single. Lou Piniella laid down a sacrifice bunt and Joe Foy singled, scoring both runs. Foy took second on the throw home and later stole third, but was stranded there.
The score remained 2-0 into the third, when Foy worked a walk with two outs, stole second, and scored on Jerry Adair’s single.
Royals starter Bill Butler had worked around some trouble in the first and fourth innings, but he couldn’t escape the fifth unscathed. Bobby Knoop led off with a single and Jay Johnstone homered with one out to cut the Kansas City lead to 3-2.
Still pitching in the seventh, Butler yielded a leadoff single to Roger Repoz. Butler got the next two hitters, but Lou Johnson doubled to drive in Repoz and tie the game.
However, it was the Royals’ bullpen that took the loss in this one. Moe Drabowsky replaced Butler for the eighth inning. Aurelio Rodriguez greeted him with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt. Drabowsky walked Vic Davalillo. Steve Jones replaced Drabowsky and got a groundout that moved the runners up to second and third, but then hit Johnstone with a pitch. Kansas City’s third pitcher of the inning, Dave Wickersham, gave up a single to Jim Fregosi. Somehow, all three runs scored on the play, with Fregosi taking second on the throw home.
He was stranded there, but the damage was done. Angels reliever Hoyt Wilhelm stranded runners at second and third in the eighth but pitched a perfect ninth to complete the win.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196904250.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Chuck Harrison (1941), Bob Johnson (1943), Dave Owen (1958), J.P. Howell (1983), Eric Stout (1993)