This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: June 11

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Kansas City came oh-so-close to a series sweep in their first visit to New York, but the Yankees scored two runs in the ninth and then the game-winner in the 11th to take the final game of a three-game set by a score of 5-4.

The Royals took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but starting pitcher Wally Bunker, who had been excellent for eight innings, gave up singles to Jerry Kenney and Bobby Murcer. Joe Pepitone’s groundout scored Kenney. After a walk, the Royals turned to reliever Dave Wickersham, who had successfully worked out of a ninth-inning jam the previous night. Wickersham was not so fortunate this time. The first batter he faced, Jim Lyttle, singled to tie the game. A walk loaded the bases, but Wickersham got a force out at home and a strikeout to send the game to extra innings.

Reliever Dave Morehead snuffed out a Yankee rally in the 10th, coming in with two on and no outs and retiring three straight hitters. But in the 11th, after two strikeouts, he issued a walk to Jake Gibbs. Bobby Cox, pinch-hitting, lined a double into Yankee Stadium’s vast left-center field area, and Gibbs scored to end the game.

That was the only time the Yankees had the lead the entire game. Kansas City scored first, picking up a run in the third inning. Bob Oliver led off with a single, took second on Bunker’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Pat Kelly’s two-out single.

New York answered in the fourth, as Kenney picked up the Yankees’ first hit, a one-out single. Kenney was picked off first but reached second when first baseman Mike Fiore committed an error. Murcer’s single tied the game at 1-1.

The Royals retook the lead in the sixth as Kelly was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He stole second and scored when Lou Piniella singled with two outs. But Roy White homered off Bunker in the seventh to tie the game at 2-2.

Once again, Kansas City took the lead, this time in the eighth. With two outs, Fiore walked and Piniella hit one into that cavernous left-center field. Piniella was able to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run and a 4-2 lead.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Odalis Perez (1978), Bobby Keppel (1982), Josh Newman (1982)

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