The first game of the exhibition schedule turned out to be a pitchers’ duel, as the Royals picked up a 2-1 win over Philadelphia in 10 innings in Fort Myers. U L Washington singled with two outs in the 10th, then stole second. Dave Nelson followed with a single for the winning run.
The Phillies got their lone run off Mark Littell in the fifth inning, but it was unearned. Freddie Patek committed a throwing error on a Jay Johnstone grounder, and Greg Luzinski’s triple scored Johnstone.
Royals starter Paul Splittorff allowed six hits, two in each of his three innings. But Littell only allowed two hits, and Larry Gura allowed three hits over three innings. Roger Nelson pitched the 10th and picked up the win.
1977 baseball news: Elsewhere in exhibition play, the two expansion teams picked up their first wins. Seattle had dropped its first game by a 16-10 count to Oakland, then came back and beat the A’s 16-7. Toronto held the New York Mets to three hits in a 3-1 win.