The New York Yankees steamed ahead under new power: the relief pitching of Duke Maas and Luis Arroyo, the clutch hitting of John Blanchard and Bob Cerv. Arroyo, up from Jersey City, saved two wins with his effective screwball; Catcher Blanchard, starting for the first time this season, belabored the Tigers on successive days. The Chicago White Sox lost five straight games and fell to second. Part of the trouble was the sudden slump of Roy Sievers. Boosted to third in the order, Sievers failed to move the hot-handed lead-off men around the bases. The Sox' pitching, however, looked brighter: Herb Score performed well against the Orioles and Senators, showed ability to keep his curve out of the dirt in tight situations. The Baltimore Orioles won two games on the hitting of testy old Gene Woodling. Drifting in the .260s, Woodling perked up to beat the White Sox once with a pinch single and again with an llth-inning triple. When the Cleveland Indians threatened to sag into the second division and the Detroit Tigers lost nine one-run decisions in two weeks, top management rebelled. Off to Detroit went Joe Gordon, over to Cleveland went Jimmie Dykes for the first managerial trade in history. Manager Gordon maintained an embarrassed silence, but Manager Dykes was his candid self. Said Jimmie: "We were both fired and fielded on the first bounce." Lost in the shuffle was the arrival in Cleveland of Don Newcombe. Newk, waived from Cincinnati, proclaimed: "I don't know the hitters in this league, but they sure don't know me either." Next day he was introduced to the Washington Senators, who bombed him. The Senators did well against the Indians and the White Sox to stay within sniffing distance of fourth place. Camilo Pascual beat Cleveland for the first time in more than three years, announced that his injured arm is again sound. Bob Allison, the club's best hitter, went one for 28, saw his average slide below .270. "Allison is simply trying too hard," said Owner Cal Griffith. "I've never seen anyone so tense. If he'll relax he'll hit and we'll move up." The Boston Red Sox got good pitching from steady reliever Mike Fornieles and wild starter Earl Wilson, ran off four straight wins. Wilson, who walked 31 men in 24 innings last year, walked only six against the A's and coasted to a 9-1 victory. The Kansas City Athletics drew their largest crowds of the season, but they lost two to the Red Sox, three more to the Yanks.
Standings: NY 59-41, Chi 60-45, Bait 60-46, Clev 51-49, Wash 49-53, Det 46-55, Bos 44-58, KC 39-61
With the pack yapping at their heels, the Pittsburgh Pirates remained calm and awesomely effective. They held the Dodgers to four runs in three games, beat the Giants on an error one day, a last-ditch rally the next, went on to win four in a row. Wilmer Mizell and George Witt provided what may be the added muscle for a decisive pennant drive. The startling St. Louis Cardinals were suddenly in second place. Ray Sadecki, a good bet for Rookie of the Year, won his sixth game for Solly Hemus, a good bet for Manager of the Year, with eight strikeouts and two timely singles. Sadecki's hits reflected a recent Card innovation: added batting practice for the club's starting pitchers. When his Milwaukee Braves dropped to third, Manager Charlie Dressen grew churlish. "This is the highest-paid ball club in history," he growled, "but sometimes these guys play like high school kids." Feeble hitting cost the Los Angeles Dodgers (see page 69) three games and Stan Williams his glossy record. Williams lost twice, Don Drysdale once, as the team scrambled to regain its winning momentum. The San Francisco Giants' long-term goal became not first place but the first division. Even that seemed unattainable. The team blew two late leads to the Phils, topped it off by fluffing a 10th-inning 7-5 lead over the Pirates. Never daunted, Manager Sheehan chatted amiably about winning the pennant. The Cincinnati Reds' Billy Martin was fined $500, suspended for five days for punching Chicago Cubs' Pitcher Jim Brewer. Brushed back by Brewer, Martin charged the mound and delivered a right that fractured Brewer's cheekbone. Cincy players took up a collection to pay Martin's fine, and Billy himself was righteously indignant. Said he, with far more gall than logic: "I think I've been dealt with very unfairly." Cub Owner Phil Wrigley implied that Judge Landis would have thrown Martin out of baseball. The youthful Philadelphia Phillies displayed a showman's flair for the dramatic. Ninth-inning hits by Ken Walters and John Callison won two games, and the team squandered large leads in two others. The one steadying influence was elder statesman Robin Roberts, who survived 13 hits to beat the Dodgers 3-1.
Standings: Pitt 63-40, Mil 56-44, StL 58-46, LA 55-45, SF 51-50, Cin 45-59, Phil 42-62, Chi 39-63
Boxed statistics through Saturday, Aug. 6
OFF THE BENCH bounded Yankees' John Blanchard and Phillies' Johnny Callison. Each delivered a game-winning home run.