The Royals pounded out 16 hits as they picked up their third straight win, a 6-4 decision over Seattle at Municipal Stadium.
Paul Schaal, making his second start since being recalled from Class AAA Omaha, led the way with three hits—two singles and a double. Pat Kelly, Lou Piniella, Buck Martinez, and Jackie Hernandez had two hits each, and even starting pitcher Mike Hedlund got in the act with two singles. Oddly, Schaal’s double was the only extra-base hit the Royals had.
Despite all that, it was Seattle grabbing the early lead, with a run in the first thanks to Don Mincher’s double. Pilots starter Mike Marshall kept the Royals off the board in the first after a pickoff and line drive double play, but Kansas City put together two runs in the second.
In that inning, with one out, singles by Piniella and Martinez preceded the Schaal double. Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly for the second run.
Seattle tied the score in the third, as Mincher hit another double with a man on base. The Royals failed to capitalize on two singles in their half of the third but scored three runs in the fourth. That inning started with singles by Schaal, Hernandez, and Hedlund. On the latter, Marshall cut off the throw from the outfield and threw wildly to third, allowing Schaal to score.
That finished Marshall’s outing, but the Royals kept hitting. Pat Kelly singled off new pitcher John O’Donoghue to drive in Hernandez, and Joe Foy hit a sacrifice fly to increase the Royals’ lead to 5-2.
Hedlund could not make it through the fifth inning, despite the lead. With two outs in the fifth, Mike Hegan singled and Wayne Comer walked. That brought up Mincher, and the Royals turned to Tom Burgmeier to see if he would have better luck. He did, with Mincher hitting a foul popup to Schaal to end the inning.
However, after Burgmeier pitched a perfect sixth inning, Seattle scored two runs off him in the seventh. Gordy Lund led off with a single, and Tommy Davis drove him in with a double. Fiore mishandled Tommy Harper’s bunt and the Pilots had runners at first and third. Hegan’s groundout scored Davis. Reliever Moe Drabowsky got the last two outs of the inning to keep the score 5-4 in favor of Kansas City.
The Royals added an insurance run in the seventh, stringing together two-out singles by Martinez, Schaal, and Hernandez to increase the lead to 6-4. Drabowsky worked around a two-out double in the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his eighth save.
The win lifted the Royals to 35-45 on the season. They were tied for fourth in the AL West with Chicago, 10.5 games behind Minnesota, as well as being a half-game behind Seattle for third place.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196907050.shtml
Today’s birthday: Doug Bochtler (1970)