Ten days after Al Downing shut down the Royals’ offense in Kansas City in a four-hitter, he nearly repeated the feat by holding the Royals to five hits in New York’s 6-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Downing had one inning of relief help from Jack Aker this time, so his two-game totals against the Royals were 17 innings pitched, nine hits, two runs (both earned), nine walks, and 12 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the Yankees built a 6-0 lead against Royals starter Roger Nelson and reliever Chris Zachary. New York enjoyed a four-run fourth inning, with all the runs charged to Nelson. Jake Gibbs started the inning with a triple and scored when Horace Clarke singled with one out. After Clarke stole second, Gene Michael brought him in with a single. Roy White walked, and Bobby Murcer’s fly ball to deep center moved both runners up. That meant Jimmie Hall’s single scored two runs instead of one.
Murcer homered off Zachary in the fifth, and in the sixth, Jerry Kenney led off with a single. A wild pitch and a ground ball moved him to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.
Kansas City’s lone run came in the ninth. Joe Foy and Jerry Adair started the inning with consecutive doubles. But Aker came on and struck out the next two hitters, then induced a grounder to end the game.
The loss was the Royals’ sixth in a row, and their record dropped to 51-77. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 26.5 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA196908290.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Ryan Shealy (1979), Eduardo Villacis (1979)