The Pittsburgh Pirates found the going a bit sticky (two wins, three losses and a tie) but managed to gain ground on the drooping contenders. Husky Dick Stuart, who hit no home runs in the first month of the season, hit three in one game against the Giants, beat the Dodgers next day with a 10th-inning single, but continued to take his lumps from the ever-booing fans. The Milwaukee Braves' thrust was blunted by four straight losses and the apparent demise of Red Schoendienst as a regular. With Red batting .232 and slowing down afield, Manager Dressen brought back Chuck Cottier from the minors, installed him at second and gave him a mild vote of confidence. Said Dressen: "Cottier's my regular second baseman—on a day-to-day basis." Looking more and more like the paper tigers of 1959, the San Francisco Giants pleased no one but their new manager, Tom Sheehan. To Sheehan it was still a brave new cotton-candy world. He reinstated Willie McCovey at first, bubbled over the play of Willie Mays and picked the Giants to win. While Schoendienst faded, the St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial rebounded, getting 11 for 18 as the club's regular left fielder. Ernie Broglio pitched back-to-back relief wins over the Braves, threatened to eclipse Lindy McDaniel as the team's top reliever. The Cincinnati Reds passed up Pitcher Jim O'Toole's wedding for batting practice, proceeded to score 13 runs against the Cubs. O'Toole, married on Saturday, worked his regular turn on Sunday (he was knocked out in the fifth inning). Said Manager Hutchinson unsentimentally: "I didn't tell him to get married on Saturday." The Los Angeles Dodgers hit well, pitched well and even fluttered into fourth for a day. The best Dodger news: the city council approved the long-dangling Chavez Ravine deal, got set to spend $2 million on the new stadium. Despite three straight losses to the Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies fought fiercely for seventh place, threatened to provide the year's major upset by attaining it. The Chicago Cubs junked the Grimm system of quick-relief veterans and went with the long-range kids (SI, June 27). Best of the fledglings is Second Baseman Jerry Kindall, a fine fielder and surprising .303 hitter. Only Cub batting higher is Richie Ashburn, no youngster, who last week collected his 2,300th hit.
Standings: Pitt 43-27, Mil 39-30, SF 38-33, St, L 36-36, LA 35-36, Cin 34-36, Chi 28-41, Phil 29-43
With a one-game lead, the New York Yankees' overzealous press trumpeted "an early liquidation of the American League." The liquidation was slow but exciting: two runs behind the Tigers in the ninth, the Yanks won on jaw-slacking blows by Pitcher Art Ditmar and dugout hermit Joe DeMaestri. The Baltimore Orioles again leaned on stopper Hal Brown and slugger Jim Gentile. Brown six-hit the Indians to check an Oriole losing streak for the third time this season. Gentile, fearing a slump, hit 100 balls in extra batting practice one night, hit two consecutive homers the next. The Cleveland Indians, minus Jim Piersall (see page 8), played winning ball anyway. Punch-hitter Johnny Temple (15 HRs in eight seasons) beat the Orioles with an extra-inning homer, and Gary Bell pitched effectively for the first time in nearly three weeks. Sloppy baseball had Chicago White Sox Manager Al Lopez seething. He blasted Billy Pierce for feeding Baltimore's hitless (0 for 25) Milt Pappas a home run ball in a scoreless game, chastised sluggish (.265) Nellie Fox for getting caught in a line-drive double play "when he was looking right at it." The Detroit Tigers' three-week slump found Jimmy Dykes mournfully realistic. "I've moved the players in and out," he said, "but the guys I put in must get sympathetic—they do just as bad as the guys I take out. If we don't do something soon the next guy moving may be me." The Washington Senators invoked rabbits' feet, "Beat Mudcat" buttons and a snake dance on the mound in their personal duel with Cleveland's Jim (Mudcat) Grant. Unperturbed, the Mudcat coasted to his 14th straight victory over the Senators (he's 12-20 against the rest of the league). Losing pitcher was Camilo Pascual, hit hard in his first start since he hurt his shoulder two weeks earlier. A 15-hit pounding of the Red Sox saved the sinking Kansas City Athletics from the cellar, but it failed to stay the A's management from rooting around the farms for raw recruits to replace slumping regulars. The Boston Red Sox' Pete Runnels, who fell to third among league batters, faced his abrupt decline (50 points in two weeks) with philosophic grace. "Water seeks its own level," said Pete, "and I'm not a .385 hitter."
Standings: NY 43-25, Clev 40-28, Balt 43-22, Chi 39-32, Det 32-37, Wash 30-38, KC 27-43, Bos 25-44
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 2
HOTTEST HURLERS were Dodgers' Stan Williams, who four-hit Pirates, Yanks' Jim Coates, who won ninth without loss.