Three Twins pitchers held the Royals to five hits as Minnesota picked up a 6-2 win at Municipal Stadium.
Minnesota starter Dave Boswell pitched a mostly effective seven innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out six. Three of the walks came in the first two innings, although Kansas City could not take advantage of any of them. And after the Royals scored twice in the third, Boswell held them to one walk and one infield single.
Minnesota capitalized on an early error as they scored two runs in the first off KC starter Mike Hedlund. Leadoff hitter Ted Uhlaender reached on third baseman Joe Foy’s error and reached second on Tony Oliva’s single with one out. After Harmon Killebrew walked to load the bases, Rich Reese singled for a 2-0 lead.
Hedlund retired five straight after that, and 13 of the next 15. He also impressively worked out of a jam in the third. Rod Carew led off with a single, stole second, and reached third on a throwing error by catcher Buck Martinez. But Hedlund retired the heart of the Twins’ order in succession, striking out Oliva before Killebrew hit a popup and Reese grounded out.
That seemed to give the Royals’ offense a momentary lift. Luis Alcaraz and Mike Fiore started the bottom of the third with singles. After Ed Kirkpatrick hit into a force out at second, Lou Piniella grounded out with Alcaraz scoring. Foy atoned for his error with an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
It stayed there until Hedlund weakened in the sixth inning, which began with singles by Oliva, Killebrew, and Reese, the last one good for one run. With two outs, Rick Renick added another run on a single for a 4-2 lead.
Finally, Minnesota tacked on two unearned runs in the ninth, as the Royals committed two errors. Kansas City could only collect one hit over the last two innings as the Twins pulled away.
The loss left the Royals with a 64-90 record. They were tied for fourth in the AL West with Chicago, with both teams 29 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196909230.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Jim Rooker (1942), Brent Abernathy (1977), Joba Chamberlain (1985)