The Royals apparently forgot to bring their offense to Detroit for the first game after the All-Star break. The result was a 3-1 loss to the Tigers at Tiger Stadium.
To be fair, Kansas City was facing Mickey Lolich, one of the AL’s top pitchers. Lolich had been named to the All-Star team but did not appear in the game. He finished the year with a 19-11 record and a 3.14 ERA, helped by performances like this one. In a complete-game effort, Lolich fanned 13 batters while walking three and holding the Royals to four hits.
Bunker gave up two more homers in the fifth, one to Don Wert and one to Tom Tresh. The pair of solo shots gave Detroit all the runs they would need. Bunker put forth a solid effort, giving up seven hits and a walk in six innings with five strikeouts, but couldn’t get away with giving up the three home runs.
The loss dropped the Royals to 41-56 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 18 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET196907240.shtml
Today’s birthday: Jason Smith (1977)