Wally Bunker scattered eight hits and drove in three runs with two hits of his own, leading the Royals to a 6-1 win over the Yankees at Municipal Stadium.
Bunker picked up his eighth win of the year and lowered his ERA to 3.25 by holding New York to seven singles and a double. He struck out four and walked one.
New York starter Mel Stottlemyre matched Bunker with three scoreless innings to start the game, but Kansas City took the lead in the fourth. Joe Keough led off with a walk, and Mike Fiore singled to advance Keough to third. With one out, Joe Foy walked to load the bases. Jerry Adair hit a potential double-play grounder to shortstop, and the Yankees got a force out at second, but second baseman Horace Clarke made a bad throw to first and Adair was safe, with Keough and Fiore scoring. Ellie Rodriguez grounded into a forceout, with Foy scoring for a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees answered with a run in the fifth. Jerry Kenney led off with a single and took second on a passed ball. After a Clarke infield single with two outs, Gene Michael singled to drive in Kenney. But Bunker retired Roy White to end the inning.
The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the sixth. Foy led off with a single, and Rodriguez walked with one out. Jackie Hernandez hit a fly ball to deep center, and both runners moved up. Bunker helped his own cause with a single that scored both runners.
Bunker topped off the scoring in the eighth. With two outs, Hernandez singled. Bunker’s double brought him around to score. Bunker then worked a perfect ninth inning to finish off the win.
The victory improved Kansas City’s record to 49-70. They also moved ahead of Seattle and California for third place in the AL West, although they stood 21.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196908180.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Mike Ferraro (1944), Albie Lopez (1971), Josh Rupe (1982), Tony Cruz (1986)