The Royals held the Twins to four hits, but two of them were home runs and that was all Minnesota needed for a 3-0 win at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.
Royals starter Jim Rooker pitched well enough. He walked three in addition to the four hits, but struck out eight as he pitched a complete game. However, all three Twins runs scored on the two home runs. Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of the first with a home run for an early 1-0 lead.
Rooker retired nine of the next 10 hitters, with the exception being an error by shortstop Jackie Hernandez. But Rooker walked Harmon Killebrew to start the fourth, and with one out, Bob Allison homered for a 3-0 lead.
Rooker did a good job of keeping the Royals in the game after that, working around two singles in the sixth. Killebrew was thrown out at home trying to score on a grounder back to Rooker, and Rick Renick struck out with runners at second and third to end the inning. Apart from that inning, Minnesota could manage only two walks over the last four frames.
But Twins starter Jim Perry stifled the Royals offense, holding them to six singles and one walk while striking out six. Kansas City had two hits in the first inning, but with two outs and the inning ended quickly. The Royals’ most frustrating inning was the fourth. Ed Kirkpatrick and Joe Foy started the inning with singles. But Kirkpatrick was thrown out at home trying to score on a grounder, and after a two-out walk to Ellie Rodriguez loaded the bases, Perry struck out Hernandez to end the inning. Kansas City would only have two baserunners the rest of the game.
The loss dropped the Royals to 59-84. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 28 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196909120.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Greg Keatley (1953), Scotti Madison (1959)