The rampaging San Francisco Giants put together their longest win streak of the season (four straight, nine out of 12) and rode into first place. With Sam Jones providing the necessary lift from the bullpen (he won two in relief in as many days) and Willie Mays running and hitting again, the Giants looked tough, indeed. Most important, however, the fatal hole at short was temporarily repaired when Eddie Bressoud again replaced the erratic Andre Rodgers. Bressoud's smooth fielding steadied the infield (especially on double plays) and of all things, he hit, too (8 for 16). The rejuvenated Los Angeles Dodgers, moving smoothly now, ran off five in a row. Manager Alston solved his relief problem by throwing in one of his fine young starters whenever things got rough. The Milwaukee Braves, who have played bad baseball for a month (12-12), dropped all the way to third as the team lost five of its last eight games. It was too much for the disenchanted citizens of Milwaukee—they hung Manager Haney in effigy. Those spine-tingling Pittsburgh Pirates won three more games in extra innings (12 out of 13) and relentless Roy Face won two more in relief (14-0). The team was strengthened when Roberto Clemente, out with an elbow injury since the end of May, returned to add punch to the light-hitting outfield. "We're jelling as a team," said Manager Hemus of the St. Louis Cardinals. "The way our attack has come around, it's all up to the pitching." With four regulars hitting over .300 (White, Cimoli, Boyer and Cunningham), two just below (Hal Smith and Blasingame) and Stan Musial up to .276, the Cards slowly climbed up through the league. The Chicago Cubs just couldn't hit in the clutch. In losing five in a row the Cubbies left 40 men on base, lost by scores of 5-2, 4-3, 5-3, 4-3, 7-6. The Cincinnati Reds changed managers for the fourth time in less than a year when they fired quiet, unobtrusive Mayo Smith and brought tough, explosive Fred Hutchinson back into the league after a brief absence. It didn't make much difference, for the team showed it couldn't win no matter who was manager. The Reds extended their losing streak to six games—three for Mayo, three for Hutch. Despite the heavy hitting of Joe Koppe and Gene Freese, it was another dreary round for the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, Joe Koppe. He's the regular shortstop now and he batted .435 last week. Freese, a spectacular pinch hitter early in the year (five home runs), has made folks forget all about Willie Jones at third. He also hit .435 last week.
Standings: SF 49-36, LA 49-38, Mil 45-35, Pitt 46-40, Chi 41-44, StL 40-44, Cin 36-48, Phil 31-52.
The Cleveland Indians had a letdown in pitching. But the hitters, led by Tito Francona (14 for 22 at one point, .397 over-all) banged the ball hard and took up some of the slack. Ageless Cal McLish, the Indians' only consistent pitcher, won his sixth in a row, five of them complete games. The Chicago White Sox, generally scoring just enough runs to win (17 out of 21 games by one run), stayed within trailing distance of the Indians. Hitting did pick up a bit though after 22-year-old rookie Jim McAnany was inserted in right. He's batting .378 since coming up from the minors. The Baltimore Orioles finally recalled sure-handed Brooks Robinson to stop the ground balls that had been skipping past third base. It was also decided that Hoyt Wilhelm (knocked out five straight times before winning a game last week) could use more rest between starts. "He needs more zip on his fast ball," said Manager Richards. "He can't exist on a knuckler alone. When he gets two strikes, batters have been slapping at the knuckle ball with half swings, punching out singles that hurt. Any kind of fast pitch will stop that." Time is running out on the New York Yankees. While losing four in a row and six out of their last seven, the Yanks played sloppy ball in the field, got mediocre pitching. The biggest shock has been the turnabout of Turley and Ford. Last year they were 23-7; now they are 15-15. The Detroit Tigers got all of their cripples back into action, yet still couldn't win. Poor pinch-hitting and a big hole at first base where Zernial and Osborne took turns floundering around, just about ruined the team's chances. "The Tigers are still the Tigers," observed Cleveland GM Frank Lane. Enough said. The Washington Senators found it takes more than home runs to win consistently. When Killer and Co. bashed six in two games, the Senators won. When the home run sluggers were stopped, the team lost three, scoring only one run in all. The Boston Red Sox suddenly came alive for new manager Billy Jurges. With newly found hustle and some heavy hitting, the Sox piled up 37 runs to roll over the Yankees four straight times. The Kansas City Athletics got flashes of good pitching but still dropped into the cellar.
Standings: Clev 47-34, Chi 47-36, Balt 44-40, NY 41-42, Det 42-44, Wash 39-44, Bost 37-45, KC 35-47.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 11
DODGER STRENGTH was emphasized by pitching of starters Don Drysdale and Roger Craig, who beat Braves in relief.