Danny Murtaugh, Pittsburgh manager, made a luncheon speech: "Drive carefully," he said. "The person you hit may be a Pirate, and we can't afford any more injuries." Six Pirate regulars have been out with injuries in the past two weeks. The outfield was hit so badly that Dick Stuart played in left one day. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh won three of six games, including two from the Braves. Overall, Milwaukee lost four of six. Three losses were to left-handed pitchers, and in the past seven games against southpaws the Braves hit only .196. Bob Buhl earned the Braves' two wins as they fought the Cardinals for fifth place. St. Louis won two, lost four, and a 9-3 loss to the Braves was the first time in 26 games that the Cardinals lost by more than two runs. Good relief pitching might have salvaged some of those narrow defeats, and there was growing concern over Reliefer Lindy McDaniel's 3.85 ERA. San Francisco foundered, too, losing six of seven. It would have helped if at least one of their 11 homers were hit with a man on. Conversely, Los Angeles, though hitting just .224, got its home runs at the right times. The Dodgers twice beat the Giants with last-inning homers and moved into first. Cincinnati (see page 60) had led briefly, but lost twice to the Chicago Cubs, who won six straight. It all began when the Cubs held a clubhouse meeting from which the coaches were barred. The meeting was conceived by Don Zimmer, and he and Richie Ashburn led the discussion. From then on, the Cubs' bats did the talking. They hit .332. Individual leaders were Ron Santo (.500), George Altman (.435), Ernie Banks (.389) and Zimmer (.345). Philadelphia broke out in occasional rashes of hits and won two of six.
When Cleveland's Jimmy Piersall thumbed his nose at the official scorer for ruling error instead of hit on his bunt against the Twins, he was compared to Ted Williams. Piersall hit like Williams, too, last week—.571. Frank Funk was being compared to the game's best reliefers. Funk won his sixth and seventh games in relief and lowered his ERA to 1.50. Cleveland gained a game and a half on Detroit, which won three and lost two. Unlike the early part of the season, when they won with singles and doubles, the Tigers were winning with home runs. Each of their past six victories was achieved by homers. New York also got a lot of home runs. Roger Maris hit six, Bill Skowron and Mickey Mantle four and Yogi Berra three. Poor pitching, however, hampered the Yankees and, despite their slugging, they lost three of six games by a total of four runs. Boston did little hitting but had good pitching and also split six games. Rookie Don Schwall, who is 6 foot 6, got his third win and second over the Orioles. Three years ago an Oriole scout passed up a chance to sign Schwall, saying, "He hasn't got a chance." Another rookie, Norm Bass of Kansas City, won his fourth game, shutting out the Senators 8-0. The Athletics got solid hitting from newcomer Leo Posada (.417) and from oldtimers Joe Pignatano (.611), Bob Boyd and Norm Siebern (both .363). Chicago, oldest team of all, wiggled out of last place. It took nifty relief pitching by Warren Hacker, 36, and a 13th-inning home-run by Roy Sievers, 34, to beat the Yankees 6-5 and start the upward climb. Hacker was recently purchased from Chattanooga, and Chicago fans were so appreciative of his fine relief work that they gave him a standing ovation. Bill Rigney, Los Angeles manager, was not so appreciative of good pitching. He removed Eli Grba, who had a five-hit shutout after eight innings, when he walked the leadoff man in the ninth. Ryne Duren was put in to protect a 2-0 lead, but he lost the game 3-2 to the Washington Senators, who held on to fifth place with a .500 record. Minnesota lost four straight, fell seven games below .500 and was in eighth place. Everything went wrong: errors cost the Twins two games, anemic hitting the other two and Camilo Pascual somehow lost a ground ball in the sun. The sunlight did not bother Baltimore, which won three afternoon games but lost two at night. Clint Courtney, however, was bothered by Jackie Brandt's comment shortly before a flight to Boston. Brandt surveyed the bad weather and asked: "What time's this plane scheduled to crash?" Courtney got off the plane and took a train to Boston. Nothing troubled Brandt, who hit 417. Steve Barber pitched a three-hit shutout for his seventh win, Skinny Brown beat the White Sox 2-1 and Jack Fisher defeated the Red Sox 3-1.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, June 3
WINNERS AT LAST were Washington's Dick Donovan, Philadelphia's John Buzhardt. Both had lost five, Donovan by one run each time.