Boston exploded for five runs in the eighth inning, capturing an 8-6 win over the Royals at Municipal Stadium.
The Red Sox came to bat in the eighth trailing 4-3, with Kansas City’s usually reliable reliever Moe Drabowsky on the mound. But Drabowsky walked Mike Andrews to start the inning. Dalton Jones followed with a double, although the Royals got the first out of the inning by throwing Andrews out at home. After Drabowsky walked Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Smith came up with the biggest hit of the game, a three-run home run that put the Red Sox in front 6-4. After a strikeout, Tony Conigliaro hit a solo home run. George Scott singled, and Kansas City called on reliever Dave Wickersham to stop the bleeding. But singles by Joe Azcue and Sparky Lyle produced another run, and the inning finally ended with the Red Sox ahead 8-4.
The last two runs Boston scored loomed large when the Royals rallied in the ninth. Ellie Rodriguez led off with a walk, but Lyle struck out the next two hitters. Pat Kelly homered to make the score 8-6. After Mike Fiore reached on an error, Boston reliever Ray Jarvis got Joe Foy to ground out, ending the game.
Boston’s big inning meant a solid start by Kansas City’s Roger Nelson went for naught. Nelson pitched six innings and held Boston to five hits and three runs. The Red Sox scored two runs in the second and one in the sixth on Smith’s first home run of the afternoon.
Kansas City actually scored first, coming up with two runs in the first. Leadoff hitter Jackie Hernandez was hit by a Mike Nagy pitch to start things off. Hernandez then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Kelly followed with a walk, and Fiore doubled to score both runs.
The Royals put up two more runs in the fifth, taking the lead again. With two outs, Fiore walked. A Foy single scored him, and Foy took second on the throw home. Ed Kirkpatrick’s single scored Foy. Juan Rios singled as well, but Yastrzemski was able to cut down Kirkpatrick trying to score to end the inning. Yaz would also throw out a runner at home to end the seventh inning.
Kansas City fell to 21-23 on the season with the loss. They were now tied for fourth in the AL West with the other expansion team, the Seattle Pilots. Both teams were four games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196905290.shtml
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