Acting like the Bombers of old (15 home runs), the New York Yankees (see page 23) won four games from the Indians and one from the Tigers in 50 hours to creep away from the pack. The undismayed Chicago White Sox fought hard to stay with the Yanks. The hot bat of Roy Sievers, who took league batting lead (.324) from teammate Al Smith, and the emergence of Lefty Frank Baumann as a dependable starter have them convinced they can win the pennant if the Yanks falter in September. Shortstop Ron Hansen, 22, was being boosted by the Baltimore Orioles' writers as Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, the latter if Baltimore wins the pennant. No less an authority than Ted Williams thinks they can still do it. "September is a pitcher's month," said Ted, "and that is why I like Baltimore." Enjoying their new status as first division dwellers, the exciting fourth-place Washington Senators have already won more games than they did all last season. Harmon Killebrew responded to a grandstand sign, "Keep Slugging, Killer," with his 13th August home run. Lusty hitting by old hand Jim Lemon and new hand Lenny Green, who came from Baltimore, rounded out the Senator attack. The Cleveland Indians suffered injuries (Harvey Kuenn hurt his ankle, Gary Bell aggravated a shoulder) and embarrassment (five straight losses). Manager Dykes, more in forecast than in jest, cracked: "I may be the first manager in baseball to go twice in the same year." The world of sugar and spice, built on a seven-game winning streak, disintegrated for the Detroit Tigers as they returned to form: four straight defeats. The tobogganing Boston Red Sox were losing games but making money. The Sox expected to reach the million mark in home attendance in a week. Ted Williams injured his shoulder and is out indefinitely. The talk now is next year and Infielder Carl Yastrzemski, who was something of a hero in spring camp and is currently hitting .328 at Minneapolis. The Kansas City Athletics got good pitching from Ray Herbert (one save in relief and an eight-hit win over the Orioles), little else.
Standings: NY 73-49, Balt 73-53, Chi 71-53, Wash 63-61, Clev 59-63, Det 58-65, Bos 52-70, KC 42-73
For the first time since early May, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost four games in a row, stalling, but not yet derailing, the pennant express. The city's Chamber of Commerce sold Beat 'em Buc kits for $1, and the Pirates drew further solace from a statistic: only 30 games to go. With fine pitching by Joey Jay and Warren Spahn, the Milwaukee Braves inched closer, counted on the nine remaining games with the Pirates for their real chance. Spahn, true to a pitcher's tradition, ignored his pitching, gushed over his 25th career homer: "It was about time I hit something; I've had a lousy year at the plate." The St. Louis Cardinals, left for dead three weeks ago, showed new signs of life. Walt Moryn hit .400 at home, Ernie Broglio threw a snappy four-hitter, and Stan Musial, livest of all, won two games with homers. Frank Howard of the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Braves with two homers, prompting Charley Dressen to crack: "We make him look like Babe Ruth, and he's not that good—yet." The sands of the season were running out for the Dodgers, however, and one writer gave the team a new magic number: 1961. The San Francisco Giants adopted a sure-fire system for finishing fifth: lose one, win one. Willie Mays hit three home runs but was still 20 points behind Norm Larker in the batting race. The modest Dodger, perhaps putting the hex on Mays, conceded defeat. "Mays is the best hitter in the league, why shouldn't he win it?" Norm said. Pugnacious Billy Martin of the Cincinnati Reds wasn't frightened by a sign in Chicago's Wrigley Field which read: "Kill Martin," but he was taken aback by a million-dollar suit instituted by the Cubs and Pitcher Jim Brewer, whom Martin slugged. Martin's teammates, who chipped in to pay off a recent fine, figured it would cost them $34,666 a man if the suit were lost. The Chicago Cubs skidded near the bottom but were rescued from the pit by Ernie Banks's 100th RBI and the extra-base slugging of Rookie Ron Santo. Frank Lane, on jittery grounds with the Indians, was asked if he would like to work for the Cubs. Said ubiquitous Frank: "I'm too progressive for Phil Wrigley. You can't run a ball club like a gum factory." Playing like the tailenders they are, the Philadelphia Phillies lost a game when they botched a run-down play, struggled through a cellar series with the Cubs.
Standings: Pitt 75-49, Mil 65-50, StL 69-54, LA 66-55, SF 61-60, Cin 56-70, Chi 49-73, Phil 47-77
Boxed statistics through Saturday, August 27
BOYER BROTHERS, Cards' Ken, NY's Cletis, sparked team drives. Ken reached 81 RBIs, Cletis hit well as lead-off man.