Excellent pitching plus .400 hitting by Al Spangler enabled Houston to win five of eight and climb to seventh. Dick Farrell, pitching both as a reliever and starter, saved one game and won another. Jim Golden, a man with at least a gilded arm, beat the Mets and then shut out the Pirates. Ken Johnson shut out the Reds, then said, "I'm tickled pink." Birdie Tebbetts, the Milwaukee manager, saw things a shade differently—red. His Braves lost four one-run games, giving them a 6-13 record in this category. On top of that the team had a long injury list. There was even trouble with the motorized tarpaulin at County Stadium, so it was dismantled. All experiments with it since 1957 had failed. Pittsburgh's Diomedes Olivo, who it seems has been experimenting with pitching since 1776, continued his fine relief and cut his ERA to 1.20. Dick Groat was finally held hitless after a 15-game streak during which he hit .406. The Cubs suspected the Pirates were stealing signs from the scoreboard in Forbes Field. A check revealed that ElRoy Face was seated within. "Just having a smoke," Face said. New York pitchers also kept things lively in the scoreboard, which showed that they allowed 49 runs. Frank Thomas batted .438 and Richie Ashburn .462, but the pitching and travel difficulties hurt. The Mets did not arrive in Houston until 8 one morning. Then, tired and weary, they lost 3-2. Manager Gene Mauch of Philadelphia was also sick and tired after his club lost seven of eight. John Callison hit .375 and had eight RBIs last week. Since the return of Shortstop Ruben Amaro to the Army, however, the Phillies have lost 14 of 19 and gone down, down, down from fifth to eighth. Lou Klein, Chicago's head coach of the moment, talked about going up, up, up. "If we get our pitching in order, there's no telling how high we'll go." Cub pitching was in better order and the team split eight games. Billy Williams hit .383 during a 12-game hitting streak. "He's like a cobra at the plate," Coach Charlie Metro said of Williams. Cincinnati Manager Freddie Hutchinson felt umpires were more like snakes in the grass, told them so and was evicted. His Reds, though, won four of six arguments with other teams and happily greeted Gene Freese as he took batting practice for the first time since fracturing his ankle in spring training. An accommodating schedule permitted Joey Jay, Bob Purkey and Jim O'Toole to start 30 of the first 37 games. Meanwhile, a watchful eye was being kept on Jim Maloney and Ken Hunt (together they won 15 games last year), who were in the minors perfecting their techniques and awaiting a call from the Reds. Los Angeles had its pitchers right at hand and got two five-hitters and then two four-hitters all in succession. Don Drysdale won his sixth game with a four-hitter, reminding batters of Dick Groat's words: "Batting against him is like keeping an appointment with your dentist." St. Louis Manager Johnny Keane would probably rather have had a tooth pulled than watch the way opponents hit homers at Busch Stadium. They have outhomered the Cardinals 33-17 there. Carl Sawatski was hitting .400 for the year and had one RBI for every three at bats. After two infield singles, Doug Clemens said, "If you can't blast 'em out, beat 'em out." Willie Mays of San Francisco had no trouble blasting 'em. He hit five home runs and Orlando Cepeda added three more.
A tobacco farmer named Ray Moore won twice in relief, and Camilo Pascual, using a no-windup delivery this season, added another two wins as Minnesota hung on to third place. More than 300 Twins fans got so hopeful and excited that they ordered World Series tickets. New York, picked by most to be in the Series, was beset by injuries. Whitey Ford and Clete Boyer joined Mickey Mantle on the sidelines, and Luis Arroyo was put on the disabled list. It was time, so it seemed, for the Yankees to collapse. Then Rookies Joe Pepitone and Phil Linz began hitting and fielding like Mantle and Boyer. And Tex Clevenger, sent to the minors just a few days before, came back and pitched a bit like Arroyo. They did so well that the Yankees were still tied for first with the Indians. Detroit, playing its best ball of the year, had its optimism shattered when Al Kaline suffered a broken collarbone. Jim Bunning was accused of using his belt buckle to scuff up baseballs while on the mound. It was Cleveland that really roughed up the balls, hitting homers in record quantity (28 in one nine-game span). Willie Kirkland called time so he could swat some gnats during one game. Another lively swinger was Manny Jimenez of Kansas City. In his native Dominican Republic he is called El Mulo because of his strength. Last week, though, Jimenez was mistaken for Chubby Checker by a group of teenagers, then went out and demonstrated his power by hitting five homers. That helped the Athletics split eight games and move within three games of seventh-place Chicago. Both Floyd Robinson and Luis Aparicio were benched because of light hitting. Washington seemed to be running in circles, losing five of eight, three times by one run. Dale Long, however, was running better than ever. After not having had a stolen base in three years, Long last week got his third of the season. Marty Kutyna became the first Senator reliever to win a game. Good relief was still one of Los Angeles' assets, but Angel starters had a hard time finishing games. Their record of four complete games this year was the lowest for any staff in the majors. Gus Triandos of Baltimore, often unable to complete a full season because of injury, was out with a broken knuckle. Jim Gentile hit six home runs, but the pitchers gave up seven runs a game. Prior to last week the Orioles had given up just 20 homers, then they quickly gave up a dozen more. Carroll Hardy of Boston, the only man ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams, hit two homers in one game, but it was the hitting of Carl Yastrzemski (.346) and Pete Runnels (.381) that helped most.
ROOKIE STANDOUTS were Larry Burright of Dodgers, who had a .329 BA, and Manny Jimenez of Athletics, who was batting .379.