Two wins by wily Frank Lary (4-0), including his 24th against the Yankees, kept the Detroit Tigers at the top. The Yanks had first Stopped Detroit's winning streak at eight (longest in 12 years), but newcomers Dick Brown and Jake Wood hit with power (seven RBIs in one game) to put the Tigers back in first place. Manager Bob Scheffing was especially pleased with his youngsters. "They won't rattle," he said. In one game against Detroit, New York Yankee Slugger Mickey Mantle tied the score batting left-handed, then won the game with a right-handed homer in the 10th inning. Next day Mantle put his team temporarily ahead of Cleveland with a 400-foot sacrifice fly, then won it with a 410-foot triple, then saved it with a sliding, lunging, one-handed catch. Camilo Pascual, the Cuban curve-baller, pitched the Minnesota Twins to victory in the AL's first Los Angeles game. Pascual, who also worked the Twins' home opener, was their lone bright spot in the Coast series as Twin pitchers threw five home-run balls, lost twice. Jerry Adair hit close to .400 for the Baltimore Orioles, and the shaky pitching staff got shutouts from Milt Pappas and Dick Hall. The Boston Red Sox got snappy performances from Dave Hillman (out most of last year with injuries) and Gene Conley (out most of this spring playing basketball). Said a Red Sox teammate: "Shows you how little spring training means, but still I'd hate to miss the beach." Early Wynn, Minnie Minoso and Cal McLish were too busy winning for the Chicago White Sox to worry about their ages (respectively 41, 38 and 35). Wynn registered his 286th victory, McLish scored the second win of a comeback season, and Minoso had seven RBIs. Johnny Temple hit in all 16 Cleveland Indian games, led the league with a torrid .429. New General Manager Gabe Paul promised to find help for the Indians' weak bench. Despite two losses to New York, ever-optimistic Jimmie Dykes said: "I haven't seen anybody better than us." A suddenly tough Kansas City Athletics lineup blasted out 42 runs and 46 hits, triggered by the hot bats of Marv Throneberry (two HRs) and Haywood Sullivan (.536). Rookie Norm Bass won his first big league start, aided by 20 runs, largest total ever scored by a KC team. Manager Mickey Vernon resorted to near-panic shuffling (with a completely new infield, catcher and one outfielder) as the Washington Senators lost four of five and slipped to ninth place. The punchless Senators have averaged 2.2 runs a game. The Los Angeles Angels brought AL baseball to the Coast before a disappointing crowd of only 11,931 and lost the opener, 4-2, to the Twins. The Angels won the next two on home runs as cozy Wrigley Field began to live up to its promise as a hitters' heaven.
Six days before his 30th birthday, Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants joined one of baseball's elite clubs by hitting four home runs in a game against Milwaukee. Only eight others have done it—the last was Rocky Colavito in 1959. Mays knocked in eight runs with his homers off Lou Burdette (2), Seth Morehead and Don Mc-Mahon. Following a familiar pattern, the Pittshurgh Pirates edged into first place. Bill Mazeroski hit his first home run since last Oct. 13—the one against the Yankees—and Vernon Law had his first 1961 victory, thanks to a sparkling save by El Roy Face. Frank Howard got a reprieve from a rumored trip to the minors when he hit two homers for the Los Angeles Dodgers and had six RBIs. Only Wally Moon (now on the road and away from the Coliseum's "Wall of China") has provided sustained power. The Milwaukee Braves completed the trip from last to first place (for a day) on the strength of Warren Spahn's second no-hitter, 290th win and 52nd shutout (see page 24). It took Spahn 15 years to throw his first no-hitter; the second came five starts later. Chicago Cubs' Head Coach Harry Craft decided to give overworked reliefer Don Elston (0.00 ERA) a day off. Result: the Cubs lost their first home game when other pitchers stumbled. Old roomies Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals had a mixed week. Schoendienst won a game with a pinch double, looked sprightly in the field; Stan was "rested" during the cold weather because of his weak hitting (.209), as the Cards won only once, slid to sixth place. The desperate Cincinnati Reds (eight straight losses) benched Vada Pinson (.188) for veteran Gus Bell, traded All-Star Ed Bailey for journeymen Don Blasingame and Bob Schmidt. Manager Fred Hutchinson even resorted to an old trick of losers: a surprise bed check. Art Mahaffey of the Philadelphia Phillies, in his first start since striking out 17 Cubs, struck out only three Cards, gave up four hits, won 3-2.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, April 29
UTILITY MEN Jerry Adair and John DeMerit were pleasant surprises. Orioles' Adair was hitting .333, Braves' DeMerit had first home run.