The Chicago White Sox pitching continued to draw lots of comment. Herb Score, wild against the Orioles, set down the Senators for six innings with three hits, two walks. Early Wynn, still without a victory, lasted five innings for the first time all season, only to be shelled in the seventh. The club's revitalized pinch-hitting won one game, drove in six runs. The New York Yankees won four straight, held first place until the White Sox came to town. Roger Maris (10 for 17, 7 RBIs) soared into the .470s, while Bill Short and Ralph Terry pitched strong, low-hit wins. With no help from their friendly left-field screen (two homers at Fenway were both to right), the Boston Red Sox climbed all the way to third. Thirsting for right-handed power, Manager Jurges obtained veteran Rip Repulski, commented caustically: "We won't have any trouble making room for him." Lack of relief pitching hurt the Cleveland Indians. Gary Bell, who started and won two games, had to come in and save another. "This team needs a stopper," mourned Manager Gordon. "Stand by for ulcers." Easing the ulcer count was the long-delayed hitting of Tito Francona (11 for 21, 7 RBIs) and Homburg-wearing, cigar-smoking Walt Bond (2 HRs, 6 RBIs). Toughest problem for the Baltimore Orioles may be a lack of paying customers. Despite clusters of runs and a trading-stamp deal with local merchants, the Orioles have not been drawing well for big series with the contenders. After 12 one-run decisions in 14 games, the Washington Senators gave their jittery fans some relief—they lost three straight by a larger margin. The Kansas City Athletics ran their slump to seven losses in eight games, avoided the cellar only by grace of Detroit. The club fell to seventh in team batting; every one of its 14 home runs this year has come with the bases empty. The Detroit Tigers moved backward with startling speed, hurtled from first place to last in five days. Back home, some fans noted the Boudreau-for-Grimm switch, suggested the Tigers replace Dykes with Broadcaster George Kell.
Standings: Chi 12-6, NY 10-6, Bos 8-7, Clev 9-8, Balt 10-9, Wash 7-10, KC 6-11, Det 5-10
Muzzled by Cincinnati, the San Francisco Giants roared back to smash the Pirates three straight and take over first place. Willie Mays made two errors in one game and was baffled by changeups in another, but it didn't matter. Superb pitching (especially by Mike McCormick) and big hitting more than made up for minor lapses. The Pittsburgh Pirates' two-man staff—Vern Law and Bob Friend—finally crumbled and the tremors shook the whole team. The Pirates won only once all week (from the last-place Cubs). Shoddy relief work by Elroy Face and Fred Green blew two games. The Milwaukee Braves had four games postponed by rain or cold weather, yet managed to gain a half game on the leaders. With the team on the road, County Stadium officials sneaked in a nickel boost in the price of hot dogs. A sharp upturn in pitching brought the Cincinnati Reds seven straight victories. Cal McLish won his first two games, and Jim O'Toole and Jay Hook each beat the Cards (O'Toole had a walkless game for the first time in his professional career). Reliever Bill Henry saved three games; he faced 10 batters and retired all of them, seven by strikeouts. The St. Louis Cardinals' power suddenly wore thin (14 runs, no homers in six games), and the ragged fielding began to show through. Desperate for base hits, Manager Hemus loaded his outfield with maladroit sluggers, winced as they misplayed fly balls, ground balls, line drives. The Los Angeles Dodgers just weren't hitting. Only one regular, Wally Moon, was above .250, and the management talked of lopping off some nonproductive heads. Two Dodgers made off-guard admissions that club spirit has not been on a par with last season. To make things worse, starter Roger Craig fractured a collarbone and will be out for two months. New Manager Lou Boudreau and his Chicago Cubs got what they needed most: three straight postponements. "We're arm-fatigued," said Boudreau. "The first thing is to get our pitchers in rotation." Most arm-fatigued of all was Glen Hobbie, who started once, relieved twice in five' days. The Philadelphia Phillies won their first game in Los Angeles since July 1958. Jim Owens turned in his second (and the Phils' second) complete game, and Robin Roberts pitched creditably after four failures.
Standings: SF 14-7, Pitt 13-8, Mil 9-7, Cin 11-11, LA 10-12, StL 9-11, Phil 9-13, Chi 6-12
Boxed statistics through Saturday, May 7
SURPRISE STARS were the Red Sox' Bill Monbouquette and Reds' Jim O'Toole, who each won two. Bill threw one-hitter.