After coughing up a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, the Royals rebounded to push across the winning run in the 10th, picking up a 5-4 win over the Senators at RFK Stadium in Washington.
The Royals had built a 4-1 lead through 8 innings. Starter Mike Hedlund was still in the game and allowed a home run to pinch-hitter Brant Alyea to start the inning. Hedlund got the next two outs, but Frank Howard rifled a double to right field. Reliever Tom Burgmeier entered the game to face Mike Epstein, who homered to tie the game. Burgmeier got the next batter to send the game to extra innings.
With one out in the 10th, pinch-hitter Mike Fiore singled. Jackie Hernandez put down a bunt single, and Pat Kelly put Kansas City on top with a single to right. Two strikeouts ended the inning with the Royals still clinging to a one-run lead, but Wally Bunker got through the bottom of the inning without any drama to seal the win.
Kansas City scored first as Chuck Harrison homered in the second inning. Washington answered with a run in their half of the second. But the Royals took the lead back in the fifth. Juan Rios led off with a single and scored on an Ellie Rodriguez double. Hedlund bunted to move Rodriguez to third with one out, and Hernandez laid down another bunt single to score KC’s fourth run.
Hedlund somehow limited the Senators to that one run through eight innings despite allowing nine hits and three walks in that span. Washington left 10 men on base and went 2-10 with runners in scoring position.
The win moved the Royals to 19-21 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West but just 3.5 games behind the co-leaders in the division, Minnesota and Oakland.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS2/WS2196905240.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Ellie Rodriguez (1946), Carlos Febles (1976)