The Royals picked up two runs in the ninth inning for a 4-3 win over the Twins at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.
Tony Oliva homered in the bottom of the eighth to give the Twins a 3-2 lead, but Minnesota reliever Bob Miller, who had entered the game in the fourth and retired 14 straight batters, walked Lou Piniella to start the ninth. Twins relief ace Ron Perranoski, on his way to a league-leading 31 saves in 1969, took over on the mound. Pinch-hitter Hawk Taylor smashed a grounder into the left-field corner, and pinch-runner George Spriggs raced home with the tying run. Bob Oliver ran for Taylor, took third on a bunt, and scored the lead run on a Jerry Adair single.
Royals starter Dick Drago pitched a perfect ninth to finish off his complete game win, his 10th victory of the season. Drago pitched all nine innings despite allowing 10 hits. He struck out five and walked one, which was an intentional walk.
Kansas City built an early 2-0 lead for Drago. Luis Alcaraz hit a solo home run with one out in the first inning, and a Chuck Harrison double and Jackie Hernandez single in the fourth put the second run on the board. That also ended Twins starter Tom Hall’s afternoon, as Miller came on to shut down the Royals’ offense.
Miller’s effort allowed the Twins to eventually take the lead. Before Oliva’s home run in the eighth, Minnesota tied the score in the sixth. Two singles and that intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs, and a Leo Cardenas bloop double to right field brought two runs home. However, second baseman Alcaraz was able to track the ball down and throw out John Roseboro at home to end the inning with the score 2-2.
The win meant the Royals took two out of three games in the series and went 7-4 on their road trip. Overall, the team was 61-84 and in fourth place in the AL West, 26 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196909140.shtml
Today’s birthday: Jerry Don Gleaton (1957)