A two-out home run by Walt Williams in the 10th inning sent the Royals to their fifth straight defeat, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox at White Sox Park.
Williams hit just his third home run of the year, this one off Al Fitzmorris, who was looking to complete his third inning of work in relief of starter Bill Butler. It was the first hit Fitzmorris gave up in those three innings, although he did issue two walks.
Butler and Chicago starter Paul Edmondson, who was born in Kansas City, Kansas, were both impressive after some early struggles. Chicago scored first, in the bottom of the first. With one out, Luis Aparicio singled. Ron Hansen walked, and with two outs, Bob Christian singled to score Aparicio.
Kansas City answered in the top of the second. With one out, Joe Foy and Luis Alcaraz collected back-to-back singles, although Alcaraz was caught in a rundown between first and second for the second out. With Buck Martinez batting, a wild pitch let Foy score the tying run.
However, neither side would get a base hit until Ed Kirkpatrick doubled with two outs in the seventh. But Edmondson got Foy on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning. The Royals also had a single and a walk in the eighth, but Edmondson retired the last two hitters, including Joe Keough, who was batting for Butler.
Fitzmorris issued two walks in the eighth but worked out of trouble. Kansas City failed to capitalize on a single and an error in the ninth, as reliever Wilbur Wood escaped the jam. Wood pitched a perfect 10th inning ahead of the Williams homer.
As a sad postscript, this game would be the last appearance of Edmondson’s career. The 26-year-old had a good rookie campaign in 1969, despite his 1-6 record: a 3.70 ERA in 87 2/3 innings and three straight excellent starts to end the year. Chicago was expecting him to contend for a rotation spot in 1970, but just two weeks prior to spring training, Edmondson and a passenger were killed in a car crash in California on the day after his 27th birthday.
The loss dropped the Royals to 64-92. They were in fifth place in the AL West, 30 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA196909250.shtml
Today’s birthday: Ray Holbert (1970)