Ray Culp put a quick end to the Royals’ four-game winning streak, overcoming two solo homers to lead Boston to a 4-3 win at Municipal Stadium in a game that took just two hours and four minutes.
Culp picked up his eighth win of the year by pitching a complete game, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out seven. His biggest nemesis was Pat Kelly, who had two hits and drove in two runs. Kelly started the scoring with a one-out home run in the first inning.
However, the Red Sox responded immediately in the second. Royals starter Mike Hedlund, after a perfect first inning, gave up a single to Reggie Smith. Then Rico Petrocelli homered to put Boston ahead 2-1.
The Royals tied the game in the third. With one out, Hedlund singled and stole second base. With two outs, Kelly singled into right field, bringing Hedlund home.
Perhaps the time on the bases affected Hedlund, because Carl Yastrzemski led off the fourth with a double. He scored when Smith singled, and Smith took second when Bob Oliver bobbled the ball in center field. After Petrocelli bunted for a hit, Tony Conigliaro hit a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.
Kansas City got one run back when Mike Fiore homered in the eighth inning, but Culp finished the inning and worked around a one-out single in the ninth to end the game.
The loss dropped the Royals to 21-22 on the season. They were tied for third in the AL West with Chicago, 3.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196905280.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Kirk Gibson (1957), Steve Jeltz (1959), Mike Difelice (1969)