A late defensive miscue cost the Royals and Jim Rooker another hard-luck loss as the Senators defeated the Royals 2-1 at RFK Stadium in Washington.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth and one out, Rooker walked his counterpart, Washington starter Dick Bosman. With two outs, Hank Allen singled. Frank Howard hit a grounder to shortstop Jackie Hernandez, who fielded it cleanly but made a bad throw to first. Bosman scored from second to put Washington ahead. Rooker recorded a strikeout to end the inning but the damage was done. Bosman worked around a single and a walk in the ninth to finish out the game.
For Rooker, it was his third straight loss where the Royals had scored exactly one run for him. In those three starts (with the other two coming against eventual American League champion Baltimore), Rooker had allowed six runs (four earned) in 27 innings.
All of Kansas City’s offense in this game came on one swing of the bat. In the third inning, Pat Kelly, who had been away from the team for two weeks of military duty, homered to right-center for a 1-0 lead. However, Bosman limited the Royals to four other hits, while walking one and striking out five. After Kelly’s home run, he retired 12 straight, including striking out the side in the sixth.
Washington tied the score in the fifth, which was the first inning Rooker faced more than three batters. A Ken McMullen single and Brant Alyea walk started the inning, and McMullen scored on a Tim Cullen sacrifice fly.
Kansas City fell to 45-68 with the loss. They also fell behind California in the AL West standings, where they were now in fifth place and 22.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS2/WS2196908110.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Vada Pinson (1938), Mike Hedlund (1946), Melky Cabrera (1984)