Ed Kirkpatrick singled to drive in the game’s only run, giving the Royals a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.
Kirkpatrick’s hit was only the fourth of the game for the Royals, who doubled their hit total in the ninth inning as Mike Fiore tripled ahead of Kirkpatrick’s grounder into center field. All four hits, along with one walk and a hit batter, came off hard-luck loser Dean Chance.
Lou Piniella ended any no-hit drama with a single in the second inning, and the Royals left two men on base in the fourth, but between that inning and Fiore’s triple, Chance retired 13 straight hitters.
The division-leading Twins were unable to muster much offense against three Kansas City pitchers. Roger Nelson started the game but left after one inning due to an injured shoulder, an injury that would end his season and ultimately cost him much of the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Mike Hedlund entered the game to start the second inning and pitched six innings, holding Minnesota to two hits. He did walk four batters but also struck out eight. Those two hits were both singles by Leo Cardenas and were Minnesota’s only hits of the game.
Hedlund was able to retire Tony Oliva on a foul popup to end the third with runners at first and third and stranded Cardenas at second after his leadoff hit in the fifth to escape Minnesota’s two scoring chances against him.
Moe Drabowsky pitched a perfect eighth inning but in the bottom of the ninth, he issued walks to Rich Reese and Graig Nettles with one out. But Drabowsky recovered to retire John Roseboro on a popup and struck out Cardenas to escape with the win.
With the victory, the Royals improved to 60-84 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 27 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196909130.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Chan Perry (1972), Kyle Zimmer (1991)