Old hands moved the Milwaukee Braves into first place. Warren Spahn, working as hard as ever, recorded his 11th win, and Bob Buhl and Lou Burdette posted their 10th victories. Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and a rejuvenated Eddie Mathews kept up a steady drumfire of home runs. There was one sad note—Red Schoendienst, benched for three weeks, said: "A lot of people are forgetting I ever played." Steady tenants of the top for seven weeks, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw their lead evaporate on the Coast. Dependable Bob Friend and Roy Face faltered, and the second-liners remained as unstable as ever. Late inning runs, the secret to earlier Buc successes, suddenly couldn't save lost games. Slowly gaining ground, the Los Angeles Dodgers won two games from the Pirates on homers by Norm Larker and Tommy Davis, two from the Phils on superb pitching by Don Drysdale and Roger Craig. Pleasant surprise for Manager Alston was the steady fielding and near .300 hitting of Shortstop Maury Wills. The St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their hold on the first division. Fork-balling Reliever Lindy Mc-Daniel saved a Larry Jackson win over the Braves, then survived a sudden cuffing to beat the Reds in extra innings. The fading San Francisco Giants got two booster shots. One was from ex-Manager Bill Rigney, who treated selected players to pregame pep talks. Far more important was the eye-catching performance of the new Willie McCovey, 21-year-old Juan Marichal, who pitched 15 scoreless innings in one-hitting the Phils, four-hitting the Pirates. Cincinnati Reds' Manager Fred Hutchinson lost sleep over the team's weak hitting. Worst offender was Eddie Kasko, who hit back to the pitcher six times in one stretch of 10 at bats. Unimpressed by his consistency, Hutch sent Kasko to the bench, put paddle-footed Willie Jones back on third. The Philadelphia Phillies got the pitching of a pennant contender and the hitting of a crippled crow. They lost three 2-0 games and could win only when Robin Roberts held the Giants to one scratch single. The Chicago Cubs brewed a tempest in their own little teapot. A local newsman reported player discontent with managerial and front-office actions, noting charitably that Chicago's press had been "extremely lenient" with a decade of blundering Bruins. The players immediately denied the charges, shouldered the blame for their own poor play.
Standings: Mil 52-36, Pitt 53-37, LA 48-40, StL 49-41, SF 45-42, Cin 40-49, Phil 35-55, Chi 33-55
The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees traded blows at the Stadium, and the Sox came away in first place (see page 18). Yankee pitching went from poor to pitiful, with the Big Three of Ditmar, Turley and Ford knocked out of the box in successive games. Cleveland Indians' Manager Joe Gordon was still hamstrung by the on-field antics of Jim Piersall and the off-field sniping of Frank Lane. Gordon threatened Piersall with $500 fines, then got tossed out of a Boston game for defending him. In this case, said Gordon somewhat sheepishly, the fine would not be levied. The Baltimore Orioles, all but ignored in current pennant talk, refused to fold gracefully. When the starters failed, the relievers took charge: old knuckle-bailer Hoyt Wilhelm won twice, young fast-baller Jack Fisher once. Form conscious Outfielder Jackie Brandt drew a rebuke from Manager Paul Richards. "That nonchalant stuff has to go," said Paul. "I told Brandt to look ugly catching the ball if he has to, just so long as he catches it." Threatened with sixth place, the Detroit Tigers turned to medicine for help. A physical exam revealed that Al Kaline, slogging along this year at .239, is suffering from fatigue and low blood pressure. Rx: occasional rest and a high potassium diet. The Washington Senators' drive for distinction was blunted by a nightmarish inning against the A's. The team made five errors (Shortstop Jose Valdivielso had three of them) to loose a flood of unearned runs. Forgotten Slugger Harmon Killebrew suddenly roused himself to hit three home runs in three games—but was still 33 under his 1959 record. The Boston Red Sox suffered the torments of the loser. Against the White Sox, they managed five hits one day, four the next. Then, in the series finale, they turned 13 hits, four walks and two errors into a dazzling display of base loading without the corollary of base unloading. They pushed just one run across home plate. Amid a spate of franchise maneuvers, the Kansas City Athletics won four games (two on unearned runs). KC pitching did an about face, with longtime winner Bud Daley losing his third straight, longtime losers Ned Garver, Dick Hall and Ray Herbert coming through with victories.
Standings: Chi 52-38, NY 49-37, Bait 51-43, Clev 47-40, Wash 43-44, Det 42-45, Bos 36-52, KC 33-54
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 23
HARD-LUCK LEFT-HANDERS Herb Score, Curt Simmons were back in form; Score five-hit Red Sox, Simmons six-hit Reds.