A nine-run fourth inning was all Detroit needed to get a 12-2 win over the Royals at Tiger Stadium.
The Royals actually took an early lead. Facing Detroit starter Earl Wilson, Joe Foy singled with two outs in the first. He stole second and advanced to third when second baseman Ike Brown failed to catch the throw. When Lou Piniella reached on an error by first baseman Bill Freehan, KC took a 1-0 lead.
However, after Royals starter Bill Butler stranded two runners in the second and third innings, Detroit exploded in the fourth. Three singles started the inning, with Don Wert’s tying the game at 1-1. A fielder’s choice grounder got no outs and the bases were loaded. Butler walked Earl Wilson to force in a run, and Mickey Stanley doubled to drive in two runs. Dave Wickersham replaced Butler and got one out, but then intentionally walked Al Kaline to load the bases. After a run-scoring force out at second, Willie Horton singled to make the score 6-1. Jim Price hit a popup that first baseman Foy mishandled, and two runs scored. Wert singled to drive in Price, although Wert mercifully ended the inning by being thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
The Tigers added three more in the sixth against relievers Don O’Riley and Dave Morehead. Kansas City’s last run came in the eighth, when Ellie Rodriguez singled to bring in Joe Keough, but it was not nearly enough.
The loss dropped the Royals to 41-58 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/DET196907260.shtml
Today’s birthday: Ryan O’Hearn (1993)