The Royals scored four runs in the first and withstood a late comeback to win their second straight game over the Yankees, a 7-6 nailbiter at Yankee Stadium.
Kansas City wasted no time jumping on Yankees starter Stan Bahnsen. Jackie Hernandez started the game with a bunt single, although he was forced out at second on a Pat Kelly grounder. A Joe Foy single and Mike Fiore walk loaded the bases. Lou Piniella doubled, driving in two runs. After an intentional walk to Jerry Adair, Ellie Rodriguez singled to drive in two more runs, although Bahnsen ended the inning with two strikeouts.
New York got one run back off Royals starter Bill Butler in the second, with three singles mixed with three strikeouts. But the Royals maintained the lead, then added one run in the fourth. In that inning, Bob Oliver led off with a single and stole second. With one out, Hernandez singled to drive in Oliver.
The Yankees scored a single run in the fifth, pulling to within 5-2. Facing reliever Steve Hamilton in the seventh, Kansas City put together a two-run rally. Kelly led off with a bunt single and stole second. After Foy walked, the two runners pulled off a double steal. Fiore walked again, and Piniella singled into center field for two runs.
Butler had been very good through the first six innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He retired the first batter of the seventh, but then walked three straight hitters. Reliever Moe Drabowsky was summoned from the bullpen, and gave up a single to Roy White that brought in two runs. However, Drabowsky struck out the next two hitters to keep the 7-4 lead.
But the veteran reliever surrendered two singles to start the eighth, and a groundout pulled New York one run closer. Drabowsky got two more outs to end the inning with KC still ahead 7-5.
The ninth inning would be nerve-wracking for Royals fans. Bobby Murcer led off with a double. Tom Burgmeier replaced Drabowsky but gave up a double to Roy White and a single to Joe Pepitone. Now the tying run was at third and the winning run at first with no outs. Dave Wickersham entered the game and quickly restored order. A strikeout and two harmless popups later, Wickersham had his fifth save of the year and the Royals had a win.
The victory marked the first time since May 25-27 that the Royals had won consecutive games. With a record of 24-31, they were in fifth place in the AL West, seven games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA196906100.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Floyd Bannister (1955), Al Alburquerque (1986)