The Royals could only muster four hits, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Yankees at Municipal Stadium.
New York’s Al Downing pitched a complete game, although he did walk five in addition to allowing the four hits. He picked up eight strikeouts.
Royals starter Dick Drago battled his command as well. He walked the first three hitters of the game but escaped the inning with two popups and a grounder. However, New York scored first, coming up with two runs in the third inning. Horace Clarke led off with a single, then with one out he stole second and advanced to third when Buck Martinez’s throw sailed into center field. Clarke scored easily on Roy White’s triple, and White scored on Joe Pepitone’s groundout.
Kansas City answered with its only run in the bottom of the inning. Paul Schaal hit his first home run of the season, which was also the Royals’ first hit of the game.
But the Yankees extended the lead with two runs in the fifth, on singles by Gene Michael and Bobby Murcer and a two-out triple by Ron Woods. Murcer concluded the scoring with a solo home run off Galen Cisco in the eighth inning.
The Royals did have a couple more scoring chances. Chuck Harrison led off the seventh with a double, stopping Downing’s streak of nine straight outs, but the next three batters went in order without even hitting the ball out of the infield. And in the eighth, Schaal singled with one out and Joe Foy singled with two out, but a harmless fly ball ended that inning.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 49-71 on the season. They were in third place in the AL West, but 22.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196908190.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Ned Yost (1954), Gary Gaetti (1958), Jed Hansen (1972)