Syd O’Brien hit a single with the bases loaded in the ninth, breaking a tie and giving the Red Sox a walkoff 4-3 win over the Royals at Fenway Park.
Royals starting pitcher Jim Rooker was still on the mound as the bottom of the ninth began, after Kansas City had scored in the top of the inning to tie the game. To that point, Rooker had allowed six hits and three walks. And he retired the first two hitters. But things fell apart quickly. George Scott and Russ Gibson each singled before pinch-hitter Dick Schofield, batting for pitcher Vicente Romo, drew a crucial walk. O’Brien then rolled a single into center field for the win.
Romo was every bit as good as Rooker, holding the Royals to nine hits and one walk over his nine innings, while striking out seven.
Each team had one inning with multiple runs, and then traded single runs in the ninth. For Boston, the big inning was the second. Reggie Smith led off with a walk before Rico Petrocelli hit one over the Green Monster for a 2-0 lead. With one out, Scott doubled and Gibson singled for a 3-0 lead.
The Royals answered in the fifth. Juan Rios led off with a grounder to shortstop Petrocelli, who made a bad throw to first. With one out, Pat Kelly homered to right-center.
But Kansas City would not score again until Jerry Adair homered to lead off the ninth. That merely tied the game, and minutes later the Red Sox came up with the winning rally.
With the loss, the Royals fell to 51-75. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 25 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS196908270.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Jim York (1947), Buddy Bell (1951), Brian McRae (1967), Billy Buckner (1973)