The Pittsburgh Pirates swept three games with the Cards and moved back into first after one day out. Pacing the hitters was Outfielder Bill Virdon who, since being reinstalled as a regular, has brought up his BA 40 points in a month. Hurt by a sudden slack in home runs, the Milwaukee Braves unloaded five in one game to batter the Dodgers. Manager Dressen began fiddling with his lineup. He "rested" Johnny Logan, played Al Dark at third, made Lee Maye and Mel Roach cotenants of left field. Explained Dressen: "This is the best bench I've ever had, and that includes my years at Brooklyn. And remember, we got this bench even though nobody would trade with us. It wasn't easy." The Los Angeles Dodgers' Don Drysdale and Stan Williams looked like the best pitching pair in baseball. Drysdale won his sixth game in a row, Williams ran his record to a major-league-leading 11-2. Lone storm cloud: Johnny Podres came down with his annual backache; it starts in July, ends sometime in August. To strengthen their bullpen and infield, the St. Louis Cardinals bought Bob Grim from the Reds, brought up Shortstop Julio Gotay from the minors. Gotay, 21, got a bad case of butterflies two springs ago and now claims he has ulcers; X rays prove negative but he still likes to moan about his "sick boiler." Reserves stepped into the San Francisco Giants' lineup and the club snapped out of its dismal funk. The Giants won five straight, seven out of eight, but couldn't get out of fifth place. Johnny Antonelli again looked sharp in his new role as full-time reliever, and Orlando Cepeda shook a slump by holding the bat lower and not so far back. The Cincinnati Reds made nine errors in three games and blew them all. The third loss followed a wild throw by "Golden Glove" Shortstop Roy McMillan, installed at second base for defensive reasons. Manager Hutchinson stoked up a bean-ball squabble with the Dodgers. If his boys keep getting hit, warned Hutch, the Reds will settle things "in our own way." The Philadelphia Phillies got clutch homers from Clay Dalrymple and Bobby Del Greco, strong pitching from Dallas Green to cuff the Chicago Cubs three in a row. The Cubs missed the bat of Ernie Banks, who had produced only two home runs, five RBIs in 19 games.
Standings: Pitt 57-39, Mil 54-40, LA 52-42, StL 53-44, SF 50-43, Cin 42-54, Phil 38-59, Chi 35-60
The Chicago White Sox, readying for the stretch drive, flattened the Senators and Red Sox. Early Wynn beat both, and Gene Freese slapped base hits all over Fenway Park. Said Freese, after eight hits in two days: "It's all in the mind." Casey Stengel shook up his sputtering New York Yankees. He jerked 9-2 Pitcher Jim Coates from the starting rotation, stuck Hector Lopez on third and dropped an ineffective Mickey Mantle to sixth in the batting order. The shakeup had an immediate effect: two losses to the usually friendly Athletics. After three surprising months of good hit, weak pitch, the Baltimore Orioles were back in their old mold. They lost 2-1 and 3-1, won 5-0 and 4-3 on impressive pitching by Steve Barber and Chuck Estrada. Barber one-hit the A's, then shelled out $50 to have one of the game balls cast in bronze. Manager Richards announced he would periodically rest Ron Hansen, who has lost 30 pounds since the start of the season, and slumping, boo-ridden Gus Triandos. The Cleveland Indians lost six out of seven, and their own press started writing them off as contenders. The Tribe's troubles mounted: Piersall and Lane, a broken finger for Woodie Held, a lackluster showing at the gate. Luckily, the vagabond Rocky Bridges arrived to freshen the air. Obtained from Detroit, he flashed a tobacco-flecked grin, quipped: "At least I'll be playing in a town I can spell. I'm just glad to stay in the majors." The Washington Senators snatched three straight comeback victories, sent longing looks toward the first division. "Our guys really want to win," said Outfielder Pete Whisenant. "We want some of that first-division money and doggoned if I don't think we're going to get it." The Detroit Tigers had trouble winning, but they almost set a nice new record. They dragged through a 4-hour 48-minute night game, 10 minutes short of the league mark. Once again, the Boston Red Sox lost their best all-round ballplayer for the season. This spring it was Jackie Jensen; now it's Gary Geiger, who has been hospitalized with a mysterious collapsed lung. The Kansas City Athletics concentrated on pepping up their ticket sales. A total sale of 850,000 would put legal barbed wire in the way of moving the club from KC. Said the Kansas City Star: "This is big league territory, and we've got to keep it big league."
Standings: Chi 57-40, NY 53-39, Balt 54-45, Clev 48-45, Wash 46-48, Det 44-49, Bos 39-55, KC 36-56
Boxed statistics through Saturday, July 30
BRIGHT NEWCOMERS were Reds' Gordon Coleman, who hit .323, Giants' Juan Marichal, who won third complete game.