The Royals picked up eight hits but never could get the big one they needed, and as a result they dropped a 3-1 loss to Washington at Municipal Stadium.
Washington starter Joe Coleman was hardly overpowering, although he pitched a complete game. He only struck out three and walked four. However, seven of the Kansas City hits were singles (with one double). The Royals left nine men on base and were 1-9 with runners in scoring position.
That one hit came in the first inning, as the Royals struck first. With one out, a bunt single by Pat Kelly and a single by Joe Foy gave KC a great scoring chance. Ed Kirkpatrick grounded into a force out at second, but Lou Piniella picked him up with an RBI single.
The Royals left a runner at third in the fourth inning, got nothing out of two walks in the fifth, and had a runner at second with one out in the ninth, but could not score any more runs.
Kansas City starter Dick Drago pitched fairly well, allowing seven hits in seven innings. He walked three but struck out eight. After three scoreless innings, Washington tied the score with a Mike Epstein home run to lead off the fourth.
Washington took the lead for good in the sixth. With one out, Frank Howard doubled. The Royals intentionally walked Epstein, letting Drago face right-hander Ken McMullen. But the strategy was foiled when McMullen singled for a 2-1 lead. Bernie Allen followed with an RBI single for the Senators’ final run.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 22-28 on the season. They were in fifth place in the AL West with a seven-game deficit to first-place Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196906040.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Tony Pena (1957), Kurt Stillwell (1965), Jorge Bonifacio (1993)