Ed Kirkpatrick drove in four runs and Mike Hedlund gave the Royals a solid performance as Kansas City broke a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Cleveland at Municipal Stadium.
Kirkpatrick had the game’s biggest hit, in the fifth inning. The Royals were already ahead 1-0 when Kirkpatrick faced Indians starter Luis Tiant with two outs, Pat Kelly on second and Mike Fiore on first with a walk and a single. Tiant started the at-bat with a curve, and Kirkpatrick pulled it over the right-field fence for a 4-0 lead.
Hedlund pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out eight as he picked up his second win of the year. He was sharp until that seventh inning, when he allowed three singles and a walk, resulting in one run. Moe Drabowsky took over and got the Royals out of that mess with a line-drive double play. Drabowsky then worked two perfect innings for the save.
Kirkpatrick drove in an insurance run in the seventh, hitting a sacrifice fly to bring in Joe Foy, who had singled, stolen second and taken third when the throw sailed into center field.
Kansas City’s first run came in the fourth. With two outs, Jerry Adair reached on an error. Jim Campanis doubled to bring him home.
The Royals returned to the .500 mark with the win, at 16-16. They also moved back into third place in the AL West, 4.5 games behind Oakland.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196905150.shtml
Today’s birthdays: George Brett (1953), AJ Hinch (1974), Everett Teaford (1984)