Ed Kirkpatrick continued his hot hitting with a two-run single, and Jerry Adair contributed a bases-clearing double, as the Royals defeated California 6-0 in a game stopped after five innings by rain at Municipal Stadium.
Kirkpatrick, who had compiled 23 total bases in the previous two games (falling one short of tying a major-league record) gave the Royals the lead in the third inning. With one out, Angels starter Lloyd Allen walked his counterpart, Bill Butler. With two outs, Allen walked the bases loaded by issuing free passes to Paul Schaal and Luis Alcaraz. Kirkpatrick had made the last out of the first inning after Allen had walked two batters, but this time he came through with a single into center field for a 2-0 lead.
Allen started the fifth with three more walks, at which point the Angels turned to reliever Steve Kealey. Adair greeted him with a drive into the right-field corner, bringing all three runners home. With one out, Fred Rico finished off the scoring with a double of his own.
Butler picked up the win in his final start of the season. He held the Angels to three hits and three walks, while striking out four. The rookie lefthander finished the year with a 9-10 mark and 3.90 ERA, as well as a spot on the major-league all-rookie team announced earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Kirkpatrick had made his case to be part of Kansas City’s plans for 1970. After entering the All-Star break with a modest .210/.278/.353 line, he hit .311/.421/.561 over the last two months of the season while playing all three outfield positions.
With the win, the Royals improved to 68-93. They remained tied for fourth in the AL West with Chicago, with both teams 28 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA196910010.shtml
Today’s birthdays: John Schuerholz (1940), John Thomson (1973)