The Royals’ team-wide slump continued as Sam McDowell of the Indians shut them down on two hits in a 4-1 win at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
Since scoring five runs against Cleveland on May 15, this was Kansas City’s fourth straight loss with a total of six runs in the four games. On this night, McDowell struck out seven and walked none. The two hits were an Ed Kirkpatrick single to lead off the third and Lou Piniella’s fifth home run of the year in the seventh. In between those two hits, McDowell retired 13 straight hitters, and finished the game with a streak of eight straight outs.
Cleveland scored one run in the second, with a Max Alvis double. It could have been worse for the Royals, as Piniella and shortstop Jackie Hernandez teamed up on a relay throw to nail Larry Brown at home for the final out of the inning.
Royals starter Mike Hedlund kept the Indians off the board after that, until the sixth. Jose Cardenal led off with a home run. Two outs later, singles by Lee Maye and Brown and a Ray Fosse double brought in two more runs. Those four runs were plenty for McDowell, although he did allow the Piniella homer in the next inning.
The loss dropped the Royals to 16-20 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, six games behind Oakland.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE196905200.shtml
Today’s birthday: Steve Stemle (1977)