This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: July 18

This Date In Royals History

The losing streak reached five for the Royals, as their offensive struggles continued in a 6-1 loss to the White Sox at White Sox Park in Chicago.

Over the five-game losing streak, the Royals had combined for six runs on 29 hits. This was the fourth straight game in which the opposing starting pitcher, in this case Tommy John, threw a complete game.

The Royals actually had some scoring chances in this one, as John allowed eight hits and three walks, although he did strike out nine hitters. In the second, the first two Kansas City batters (Hawk Taylor and Buck Martinez) reached on a walk and a single. After a sacrifice bunt moved them up, though, John intentionally walked Jerry Adair and struck out Chuck Harrison and Wally Bunker to end the threat.

The White Sox then took the lead in the bottom of the second, as Ken Berry homered with one out and Bill Melton on second after a double. It was only the second homer of the year for Berry, who was born in Kansas City and attended high school in Topeka.

The Royals cut the lead in half in the fourth, although they easily could have had more than one run. Martinez led off with a double and Bob Oliver singled. Adair grounded out with Martinez scoring, but Harrison bounced into a double play to end the inning.

Kansas City had one more good scoring opportunity, loading the bases on three singles in the sixth. But Harrison, having a tough day, grounded out to end the inning.

Bunker was solid through six innings on the mound, but when he left the game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, the White Sox battered the Royals bullpen for a four-run seventh inning. Don O’Riley struck out Berry to start the inning, but two walks and a single loaded the bases. Dave Wickersham came in and got the second out, but walked Gail Hopkins to force in a run. A balk scored another, and Ed Herrmann singled for a 6-1 lead.

From there, John worked around a walk and a single in the eighth and retired the Royals in order in the ninth to close out the game.

The loss dropped the Royals to 39-54 on the season. They also fell into a tie for fourth with the White Sox. Both teams were 17.5 games behind Minnesota.

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA196907180.shtml

Today’s birthdays: None

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