Dale Long, Washington first baseman, said before the season, "These kids may out-field me, but they won't ride the ball like I will. You can shake a dozen glove men out of a tree, but the bat separates the men from the boys." Last week Long hit .440, and the separation seemed complete. Willie Tasby (.545), Jim King (.500) and Gene Green (.375) helped push the Senators, who hit .299, up to fifth place as they whipped the Twins twice. Minnesota lost five of six. In 22 innings, 10 reliefers gave up 30 hits and 16 runs and were charged with three defeats. Manager Cookie Lavagetto's new comment to outgoing pitchers: "I'm going to stick a fork in you, because you're done." Also apparently done were the Chicago White Sox, who ran their losing string to six and tumbled into the cellar. A few days before being sent to the minors Herb Score complained, "Sometimes the plate looks like it's three inches wide—and moving." The aging White Sox were regretting trades that took away youngsters such as Earl Battey, John Romano, Dick Brown, Don Mincher, John Callison, Norm Cash and Barry Latman. Detroit's young Tigers succumbed to their major weakness—one-run decisions. They lost two such games, bringing their record in one-run contests to 3-7 and cutting their lead over Cleveland, which looked alternately good and bad. Cleveland lost to the Angels 9-0, then beat them 7-1 and 13-5. After four extra-inning wins, the Indians lost to the Athletics 7-5 in 12 innings. Still, they were just two games back of the Tigers in the loss column. Also closing in were the New York Yankees, who won three straight before rain stopped their progress. Kansas City (see page 24) also won three in a row with unaccustomed late-inning splurges. There was talk for a while of dissension in Baltimore. The Orioles, however, got timely home runs and good pitching, won five straight, advanced to fourth and the rumors faded. One of the Orioles' wins resulted from Boston's first error in 10 games. Despite good fielding and pitching, the Red Sox lost three of four. The reason: their hitting (.221) was the worst in the majors. Heavy hitting (54 hits, 36 runs) boosted Los Angeles to ninth. Also a big help was Ken McBride, who pitched two complete-game wins. He beat Jim Perry of the Indians with a three-hit shutout in one game, then explained, "I warned Perry when he rented my house in Cleveland that it was haunted. Rocky Colavito and Harvey Kuenn rented and were traded. Jim Busby rented and was sold. I knew Perry would get the business, too."
Philadelphia got some good pitching from Frank Sullivan, a 2-1 winner over the Cubs, and Art Mahaffey, who beat the Braves 7-1. Mahaffey was supported by home runs by Charlie Smith and Jim Woods, the first time since April 13 that the Phillies hit two in one game. Ken Boyer of St. Louis hit two in one game and drove in six runs against the Pirates. Bill White had five RBIs against the Giants, Julian Javier had five hits in another game. Stan Musial (.474) and Curt Flood (.333) also hit well, and the Cardinals won four of six. It was at this time last year that they began moving. In 1960 they were 16-20, this year they were 17-19. It was also at this time a year ago that San Francisco started folding, but last week the Giants won four of five. Willie McCovcy (.185) was booed so lustily that Manager Alvin Dark pleaded with fans and sports-writers for understanding. A 7-year-old boy was asked why he booed McCovey. "Because everybody does," he said. Pittsburgh rooters were not exactly overjoyed. The Pirates made nine errors, four by Bill Mazeroski, in two losses. Bob Friend and Vern Law were hit hard, Bob Skinner had just three RBIs and a .236 BA, and Mazeroski was hitting .207. Phil Wrigley, Chicago owner, also had cause to chew his gum furiously. His Cubs lost four more, making it 17 of 20. Ernie Banks got permission from the multiheaded coaching staff to switch from shortstop to left field to spare his legs and prolong his career. Wrigley was not comforted by the fact that two of his former employees—Bob Scheffing of the Tigers and Dark—had their teams in front. It also became apparent that you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the "Brooklyn" out of the Dodgers. Some Brooklyn-type base running and eight errors hurt the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost four of six. In a 2-0 loss to the Reds, Maury Wills and Tommy Davis passed each other on the base paths going in opposite directions. Cincinnati rookie Ken Hunt won that game, his fourth. The Reds' pitching (2.99 ERA) was the best in the majors, but a sudden dearth of homers kept them from doing better than splitting four games. Milwaukee, too, got good pitching, primarily from Lou Burdette and Warren Spahn. Thus, despite woeful pinch hitting (.121 for the season), the Braves won three of five
Boxed statistics through Saturday, May 27