This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: May 23

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Single runs in the eighth and ninth innings helped the Royals to a 4-3 comeback win over the Washington Senators in Kansas City’s first visit to the nation’s capital.

Lou Piniella collected his fourth hit of the game with a triple to lead off the eighth inning. With the tying run at third, the Royals used Joe Keough as a pinch-runner. He scored when Joe Foy hit a sacrifice fly, knotting the score at 3-3.

The score was still tied when the Royals came to bat in the ninth, facing Senators reliever Dennis Higgins. Bob Oliver and Ed Kirkpatrick started the inning with singles, and with one out, Higgins uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Oliver to score. Dave Wickersham picked up the save with a perfect ninth inning.

Piniella had a hand in the Royals’ first two runs, as well. With two outs in the first, he singled and scored on Foy’s double. The Senators came back and scored in the bottom of the first against Royals starter Bill Butler, then took the lead in the third. In both cases, two walks preceded a single. But the Royals retied the game in the fourth as Piniella led off with a single. Foy singled and Chuck Harrison hit a sacrifice fly to score Piniella.

Washington retook the lead in the fifth and Butler loaded the bases in the sixth with a hit batter and two walks. Reliever Tom Burgmeier rescued the Royals by getting the final out of the inning. In fact, the Kansas City bullpen was an unsung hero in the game, as Burgmeier, Moe Drabowsky, and Wickersham combined to hold the Senators scoreless and hitless for 3 1/3 innings.

The victory raised the Royals’ record to 18-21 on the year. They moved past Seattle into fourth place in the AL West, 4.5 games behind Oakland.

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS2/WS2196905230.shtml

Today’s birthdays: None

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