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Solid pitching marked the surge of the Chicago White Sox. Bill Pierce and Bob Shaw pitched five-hit victories, while Gerry Staley and Frank Baumann won with strong relief performances. The Sox spurt overshadowed the inconclusive showing of Herb Score, who lost a start against the A's. "When Score kept the ball low," commented Plate Umpire Ed Runge, "it was real live. But when he put it high they started hitting him." The New York Yankees banished Bob Turley and Art Ditmar to the bullpen and went with the kids. Except for Jim Coates, who won his third game, the results were not impressive. Onetime Catcher Yogi Berra, installed in the outfield, avoided serious injury and drove in nine runs. The Detroit Tigers ran out of victories in a hurry, lost six in a row. The pitching was fine (10 runs in four games), but the big bats were suddenly silent. The Baltimore Orioles followed five straight losses with five straight wins, their longest victory string since 1957. The pitchers turned in four complete games, including a six-hitter by puff-ball artist Arnie Portocarrero. ("Porto's fast ball?" said one player. "You could catch it with a pair of pliers.") Front-office faith in the Cleveland Indians' young pitching began paying off, as fork-baller Wynn Hawkins won two games, Jim Perry, Dick Stigman and Johnny Briggs one each. But the hitting did not keep pace. Johnny Temple and Tito Francona were hovering around .200 (Francona had yet to drive in a run), and the team was averaging a league low of four runs a game. Boston Red Sox game activities were lost in a flurry of charge and countercharge in the city's sports pages. Boston writers attacked and defended Manager Jurges, chided and cheered each other, and managed a few swipes at regular foe Ted Williams. The Washington Senators lost all semblance of a pitching rotation when Manager Lavagetto began relieving with sturdy starters Camilo Pascual and Pedro Ramos. Neither responded well, but the club got a lift when Jim Kaat pitched seven strong innings against the Yanks. Despite four complete games (two by Bud Daley), the Kansas City Athletics tumbled to the cellar. Jerry Lumpe held the league batting lead but the club showed little punch.

Standings: Chi 7-4, Clev 6-5, NY 6-5, Balt 7-6, Det 5-6, Bos 5-6, Wash 5-6, KC 5-8


The Pittsburgh Pirates, a poor road club last year, rolled relentlessly through Philadelphia and Cincinnati and on into Chicago. Vern Law won his fourth game and Bob Friend his third, and the regulars took turns getting the key hits. "This is a solid lineup," said Manager Murtaugh. "Each day a different hitter carries us." Willie Mays kept hitting and Sam Jones lost twice, but the talk of the San Francisco Giants was gangling Willie McCovey. A .160 hitter the week before, he won three games with home runs, boosted his RBI total to 21, his batting average to .269. Milwaukee Braves' Warren Spahn and Lou Burdette continued to start just once a week, but found themselves on relief the rest of the time. Neither was pleased with his new dual role, and Burdette hinted darkly at economic retaliation. "If I'm going to be two men," he said, "I'll have to be paid for two." The St. Louis Cardinals, who hit .183 in five road games, almost doubled their average (.333) in eight games at home. They won six of them, took over the league lead in home runs (24) and pushed briefly into the first division. With a generous serving of home run balls, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped two out of three to the Giants. A crowd of 85,065 saw Don Drysdale knocked out for the first time this year, after complete-game wins by Johnny Podres and, earlier in the week, Roger Craig. Despite some good pitching, the Philadelphia Phillies sank steadily toward their appointed place in the cellar, and the management began to fret. General Manager John Quinn assured other clubs he harbored no trading "untouchables," and longtime idol Robin Roberts, hit hard in three games, was given 10 days between starts, his longest rest since joining the club in 1948. The Cincinnati Reds kept losing, and the first head to roll was Billy Martin's. Billy took his .208 BA to the bench, and rookie Elio Chacon stepped in at second base. Despite the resurgence of Ernie Banks (8 RBIs in two games), the Chicago Cubs lost four straight and nine out of 10. The club hired Rogers Hornsby as special batting instructor, did not deny that Manager Grimm might be on the way out—for the third time.

Standings: Pitt 12-3, SF 10-5, Mil 8-5, LA 8-7, StL 7-7, Phil 5-10, Chi 4-10, Cin 4-11


Boxed statistics through Saturday, April 30


POWER HITTERS Willie McCovey, Woodie Held hit eight home runs. McCovey's homers won three games, Held's took two.