Seattle scored one run in the first, and that was all the offense they needed to pick up a 1-0 victory over the Royals at Sick’s Stadium.
Tommy Harper led off the first with a single for the Pilots. Roger Nelson had Harper picked off first, but made a poor throw and Harper reached second on the error. Then a passed ball allowed Harper to reach third. Nelson nearly got out of the inning, retiring the next two hitters, but walked Don Mincher and gave up a single to Gus Gil.
Pilots starter Gene Brabender had struggled for most of the season, coming into the game with a 5.84 ERA. But on this day he was outstanding, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. Finally, with two outs in the seventh, Pat Kelly singled to break up the perfecto. But Kelly was then thrown out trying to steal, ending the inning.
The same thing happened in the eighth, with Ed Kirkpatrick singling with one out, then being caught stealing. Lou Piniella followed with a walk, but Chuck Harrison popped up to end the inning. And in the ninth, Hawk Taylor reached on an infield single and took second on shortstop John Kennedy’s error. But a strikeout and groundout ended the game with the tying run still at second.
Nelson was tagged with the hard-luck loss despite pitching a complete game of his own. He allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out six. Nelson retired 13 straight at one point yet fell to 4-6 on the season due to the lack of run support.
The loss dropped the Royals to 26-39 on the season. They were in fifth place in the AL West, 10 games behind co-leaders Oakland and Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SE1/SE1196906210.shtml
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