Snow greeted the Royals as they got off their plane in Minneapolis the day before this series started, and their bats didn’t warm up any on this day. The Royals collected seven hits, but never could get the clutch hit they needed. The result was a 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.
Twins starter Jim Perry only had two perfect innings, even as he pitched a complete-game shutout. Perry struck out six and only walked one. The Royals went 1-8 with runners in scoring position. That hit was a bunt single by Juan Rios following an Ellie Rodriguez double with one out in the fifth. But pinch-hitter Ed Kirkpatrick struck out and Pat Kelly’s fly out ended the Royals’ best scoring chance of the game.
The Twins got all the offense they would need in the first inning. Ted Uhlaender reached on a Rios error to start the inning. A Rod Carew walk and Tony Oliva single loaded the bases. Royals starter Mike Hedlund recovered to retire the next three hitters, but Harmon Killebrew’s sacrifice fly drove in one run.
The rest of Minnesota’s offense came in the fourth inning. Hedlund walked Killebrew and Graig Nettles to start the inning. Rich Reese then launched a three-run home run for a 4-0 lead.
A bright spot for the Royals was the bullpen, specifically Tom Burgmeier and Dave Morehead. They combined for four scoreless innings, although Burgmeier did walk three batters and allow two hits in three innings of work.
The loss dropped the Royals below the .500 mark for the first time all season, as they stood at 8-9 after the game.
Today’s birthdays: Charlie Metro (1918), Tom Browning (1960), Russ Morman (1962), Dillon Gee (1986)