One bad pitch was all it took for the Royals to drop a 2-0 decision to the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium.
Kansas City starter Roger Nelson had allowed one hit through 5 2/3 innings, but the Angels’ Sandy Alomar reached base on a bunt single in the sixth. Jay Johnstone followed with his sixth home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.
That was all Angels starter George Brunet needed. He pitched his second straight shutout, holding the Royals to just two hits. Since Kansas City scored eight runs in the first three innings of a doubleheader the day before, the shutout meant they had combined for one run on nine hits in 23 innings.
The Royals’ best chance to score came in the fifth. Bob Oliver led off with Kansas City’s second hit, a double to left. Ellie Rodriguez walked. But Juan Rios grounded into a double play, and Nelson grounded out to end the inning. The Royals would have two more baserunners, both reaching on two-out errors, but neither runner made it past first base.
Nelson pitched well, holding California to four hits through seven innings. He struck out five and walked one, but was doomed to a loss by the Royals’ offensive woes.
The loss dropped the Royals to 39-51 on the season. They were tied for third in the AL West with Seattle, with both teams 15.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL196907140.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Juan Rios (1942), J.C. Gutierrez (1983)