KANSAS CITY 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN KANSAS CITY
Date: Sunday, September 27.
Batting stars: George Mitterwald was 2-for-3 with a double. Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a triple. Brant Alyea was 2-for-4.
Pitching star: Luis Tiant pitched four innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two.
Opposition stars: Bobby Floyd was 4-for-4 with two doubles. Lou Piniella was 3-for-4. Amos Otis was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Jim Rooker pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out seven.
The game: The Royals took the lead in the first inning. Otis led off with a single and Piniella hit a one-out single. A pickoff error moved the runners to second and third and a wild pitch brought home a run. Ed Kirkpatrick's RBI single made it 2-0 Kansas City.
Then came some missed opportunities. The Royals had men on first and third with none out in the second. The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the third. The Twins had men on second and third with one out in the fourth. The Twins had a man on third with one out in the sixth. But it was still 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth, when doubles by Bob Oliver and Floyd plated a Kansas City run and made it 3-0. The Twins had a man on second with one out in the seventh and did not score. In the bottom of the seventh Otis doubled and scored on Piniella's single to make it 4-0.
The Twins finally broke through in the eighth. Harmon Killebrew hit a one-out single. With two out Alyea singled and Bob Allison delivered a two-run double. Rich Reese then hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-3.
That's all there was, though. The last four Twins batters went out and the score stayed 4-3 Royals.
WP: Rooker (10-15).
LP: Tiant (7-3).
S: Ted Abernathy (14).
Notes: Danny Thompson was at shortstop in place of Leo Cardenas. Frank Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew. Allison was in right field, with Tony Oliva moving to center and Cesar Tovar out of the lineup. Rick Renick was at third base, with Killebrew moving to first and Reese out of the lineup.
Steve Brye pinch-hit for Tiant in the fifth. Tovar pinch-hit for Jim Kaat in the seventh. Jim Nettles pinch-ran for Alyea in the eighth and stayed in the game in left field. Reese pinch-hit for Renick in the eighth, with Herman Hill pinch-running for Reese. Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for Mitterwald in the eighth and stayed in the game at catcher. Cardenas went to shortstop in the eighth, with Thompson moving to third. Jim Holt pinch-hit for Bill Zepp in the ninth. Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Quilici in the ninth.
Tiant was 0-for-1 and was batting .406. Oliva was batting .322.
Manuel was 0-for-1 and was batting .190. Brye was 0-for-1 and was batting .182.
It's sad to me that, with only slightly expanded rosters now, you can't have box scores that look like this.
This was Tiant's first appearance since September 7.
This would be the last start of Allison's career.
I have no memory of Bobby Floyd, but he played in parts of seven seasons. He never played a lot--his highest at-bat total was 134, and it was the only time he got above 100. He was a utility infielder, and was presumably considered a good glove man. I would guess that this was probably his only four-hit game. His career numbers are .219/.264/.266. He did have a long career as a minor league manager and coach, and was on the Mets major league coaching staff in 2001 and 2004.
This closed out the three-game series in Kansas City. The Twins would now come home to end their season with four more against the Royals.
Record: The Twins were 96-63, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Oakland.