It was a long day at the ballpark as the Royals and Oakland A’s split a doubleheader, with both games going into extra innings. Oakland picked up a win in the first game, 7-5 in 13 innings, while the Royals took the nightcap, 3-2 in 12 innings at Municipal Stadium.
The Royals had to come from behind to force extra innings in game one. Oakland scored two unearned runs in the first inning against starter Bill Butler. Bert Campaneris reached on first baseman Mike Fiore’s error to start the game, but was still at first with two outs. Sal Bando singled and took second when Pat Kelly threw to third. That meant Danny Cater’s single scored two runs, not just one.
Oakland added one run in the third when Reggie Jackson homered and then they used three consecutive two-out singles to score one run in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.
Thanks to two double plays, Oakland starter Catfish Hunter had faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings. But the Royals rallied in the sixth. Ellie Rodriguez led off with a walk and Bob Oliver homered, cutting the Oakland lead in half. With one out, Jackie Hernandez singled and took second on a passed ball. Joe Foy’s single brought him home.
Although relievers Mike Hedlund and Moe Drabowsky pitched two and one scoreless inning respectively, the Royals came to bat in the ninth still trailing 4-3. With one out, Kelly singled off Oakland reliever Rollie Fingers. Foy lined a double into right-center to score Kelly and tie the game.
But Kansas City could do nothing against A’s reliever Marcel Lachemann, who took over for the 10th and pitched three scoreless innings. Drabowsky matched him until the 13th, which would have been his fifth inning of work. He started the inning with a walk to Mike Hershberger. Reliever Dave Wickersham entered the game and got two quick outs, but then Bando and Cater singled. Dick Green’s double scored both runners, and then Wickersham made a bad throw to first on Rick Monday’s ground ball, allowing Green to score for a 7-4 lead.
The Royals had one more comeback attempt in the bottom of the 13th. With two outs, Kelly worked a walk from A’s pitcher Paul Lindblad. Singles by Kelly and Foy brought Kelly around to score, but pinch-hitter Lou Piniella grounded out to end the game.
The second game was a makeup of a rainout on April 18. After Oakland had used five relievers and the Royals used three in game one, both teams needed good outings from their starters, and they got them. Kansas City’s Wally Bunker pitched 10 innings, allowing just four hits, striking out eight, and walking none. Oakland’s George Lauzerique pitched 9 2/3 innings, with six hits and three walks allowed, although he only picked up one strikeout.
Each pitcher allowed one solo home run in regulation. Oliver gave the Royals the lead in the fourth with his second home run of the day. Green tied it up with a home run in the fifth inning, and the score remained 1-1 into the 10th inning.
Bando led off the 10th with a home run, but Bunker retired the next three hitters. Clinging to the 2-1 lead, Lauzerique got two outs to start the bottom of the inning. Juan Rios kept the Royals alive with a single. One of Oakland’s game one heroes, Lachemann, entered the game seeking the final out. Instead, Hawk Taylor drew a walk and Jackie Hernandez doubled, although pinch-runner Tom Burgmeier was thrown out at home and the game remained tied.
It took until the 12th inning for this game to be resolved. Facing pitcher Jim Roland, Oliver led off with a single. With one out, Rios singled and Oliver took third. An intentional walk to Jerry Adair loaded the bases, and Roland hit Hernandez with a pitch to force in the game winner.
The Royals ended the day with a 25-35 record. They were in fifth place in the AL West, eight games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play (game one): https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196906161.shtml
Box score and play-by-play (game two): https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196906162.shtml