First place or no, the New York Yankees' Casey Stengel wasn't happy. "We gotta get some starters who can hold leads," said Case after the Yanks lost a three-run advantage in Detroit. "This is enough to sorry a man." The Cleveland Indians continued to fatten up on the tailenders (26 wins in 35 games with the Senators, A's and Red Sox) and made things tough on reporters as well: they announced a 15-minute cooling-off period after games before the clubhouse will be open. Said one tender-eared player: "It will give Frank Lane some time to cool off, too." The Baltimore Orioles climbed back into the pennant race with two victories over the Chicago White Sox. The Sox suddenly looked bad. They got only five hits in the first game, kicked the second away on three errors by Gene Freese. One sweet note for the Detroit Tigers was the hitting of Rocky Colavito. Since his benching in late May, Colavito has hit 15 homers, raised his BA 106 points in 43 games. The Washington Senators dropped two games in Cleveland and evoked panicky memories of '59, when the club lost 18 straight after the midseason break. Fears dissolved as the Senators swept a double-header. The Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Athletics, locked in a duel of futility, came up with some extraordinary pitching (in one 15-inning stretch neither team scored). But the Sox made off with 2-1 and 1-0 victories to take command in the race for seventh place.
Standings: NY 46-33, Clev 45-35, Chi 46-37, Balt 47-40, Det 40-40, Wash 39-41, Bos 33-48, KC 29-51
The Pittsburgh Pirates, down to a three-game lead, checked their slide in predictable fashion: a pinch homer by Dick Stuart beat the Reds for the Pirates' 18th comeback victory this season. The hard-riding Milwaukee Braves got a surprise boost from the hitting of Del Crandall. Raised from eighth to second in the order, Crandall went 18 for 38, commented: "Batting second tends to cut down on my swing. We use the hit and run a lot, so I have to keep my eye on the ball." The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, meeting in Candlestick Park, were light years apart. LA, in top form, made it 15 wins in the last 20 games, while the Giants, who even sent Willie McCovey to the minors, looked like a real threat for sixth place. George Crowe's pinch home run gave the St. Louis Cardinals a grip on the first division. It was Crowe's 12th pinch homer, a major league record. The Cincinnati Reds, with Vada Pinson playing like Willie Mays, beat the Pirates for the first time in nine games. Shelving their youth movement, the Chicago Cubs recruited 37-year-old has-been Grady Hatton from San Antonio, 32-year-old rookie Al Heist from Sacramento. The Philadelphia Phillies, their youth program very much alive, got strong spectator support. Two losses to the Braves drew 37,000, making home attendance a profitable 16,000 per game.
Standings: Pitt 51-33, Mil 47-34, StL 45-39, LA 43-39, SF 41-40, Cin 38-44, Phil 34-50, Chi 30-50
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 16
SUDDEN STANDOUTS were Ernie Broglio, who one-hit Cubs, fanned 14, and Brooks Robinson, who made eight straight hits.