For the second straight game, the Royals were bested by one of Detroit’s All-Star pitchers. This time, it was Denny McLain hurling a complete-game shutout as the Tigers won 3-0 at Tiger Stadium.
McLain was actually supposed to start the All-Star Game for the American League. However, he had set up a dental appointment for the Wednesday of the break. When the game was postponed by rain, McLain, who was a licensed pilot with his own plane, had to hustle back to Washington. He arrived after the game was underway and so missed his chance to start, although he did pitch one inning.
In this game, McLain scattered six singles, as he walked one batter and picked up eight strikeouts.
The Royals did have a few scoring chances. In the third inning, Royals pitcher Roger Nelson reached on an error with one out. Joe Keough followed with a single. A two-out walk to Joe Foy loaded the bases, but Lou Piniella grounded out to end the inning. And in the fifth, Keough singled with one out and Foy singled with two out, but Piniella struck out to end that threat. In the seventh, Jackie Hernandez led off with a single and stole second, but was stranded there after two strikeouts and a fly ball.
Nelson pitched well for the Royals, allowing six hits, two walks, and one run in six innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He struck out three batters. Detroit’s only run off Nelson came in the fifth, when Tom Tresh and Jim Northrup singled with one out and Al Kaline hit a sacrifice fly.
Detroit scored their final two runs against reliever Dick Drago in the seventh. Ike Brown led off with a single and McLain bunted him to second. Mickey Stanley hit an RBI single and took second on the throw home. Stanley then stole third and scored when third baseman Paul Schaal couldn’t handle the throw.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 41-57 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 19 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET196907250.shtml
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