Another day, another low-scoring game on both sides, another close loss to the Oakland A’s for the Royals. This one was a 3-2 decision at the Oakland Coliseum.
A day after being held to one run on four hits, the Royals fared slightly better, with two runs on seven hits. It only took four batters to equal their run-scoring output from the previous game. With two outs in the first, Mike Fiore reached on an error by Oakland shortstop Bert Campaneris. Bob Oliver cashed it in with a triple to right field and a 1-0 lead.
However, Oakland took the lead only three batters into their half of the first. Royals starter Roger Nelson got one out, but Ted Kubiak singled and Reggie Jackson unloaded his 28th home run of the year.
The Royals got hits in each of the next three innings, but each time the hit came with two outs, and Oakland starter Chuck Dobson was able to end each inning on the next hitter. Finally, the Royals tied the score in the fifth inning, as Pat Kelly homered to even things up at 2-2. In contrast to Jackson’s 28 home runs, Kelly’s blast was the Royals’ 42nd homer as a team.
Oakland took the lead in the seventh. Campaneris led off with a single and Kubiak bunted him to second. Pitching carefully, Nelson walked Jackson. With two outs, Danny Cater blooped a double into right field, scoring Campaneris, although Jackson was thrown out at home to end the inning. But the damage was done and the A’s had a 3-2 lead.
Kansas City had not been retired in order all afternoon, and the eighth and ninth innings were no different. The Royals left two men on in the eighth, and Dobson issued a one-out walk in the ninth. At that point, Rollie Fingers entered the game and got Kelly to bounce into a game-ending double play.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 27-42. They were in fifth place in the AL West, 12 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/OAK/OAK196906260.shtml