Heavy-footed Pidge Browne, better known for his mirth and girth than for his three-base hits, hit a triple to help Houston to a ninth-inning win. "Did you hear what Doc [Trainer Jim Ewell] said when you came around second?" asked Billy Goodman. "He thought it was somebody rolling the infield." There was also some fine pitching by Ken Johnson, Bob Bruce, Jim Golden and Dick Farrell, who, in consecutive complete games, gave up just 19 hits and five runs. Opposing players complained about Houston's excessive heat (Stan Williams of the Dodgers lost 15 pounds in one game) and mosquitoes, which are becoming infamous around the league. Unencumbered by mosquitoes, Pittsburgh's robust batters (.289 BA) swatted long flies for homers. Roberto Clemente batted .484 as the Pirates won seven of eight. Dick Stuart hit a short fly but got a home run out of it. The ball rolled under the bench in the Cubs' bullpen and by the time it was found Stuart was home with a 225-foot inside-the-park homer. Few New York players hit the ball even that far or had such good fortune. Jay Hook had one particularly bad day in Houston. "My cousin invited me out to lunch and the round-trip cab fare was $13," said a shaken Hook. That night he gave up six runs in the first inning. Cincinnati also paid dearly and could, in part, trace its fall from third to fifth to 10 errors. One mistake by the Reds proved more comic than costly. Jim Davenport of the Giants hit a long fly to left, but as he rounded first he was sure it would be caught so he headed for the dugout and did not see Jerry Lynch drop the ball. Davenport then scurried across the mound and slid into second only to be beaten by the relay. Chicago continued to excel in wild pitches (four). Dick Ellsworth made two, giving him 10. (The record is 30.) In all, Cub pitchers have heaved 37 wild pitches. (The record is 70.) Ernie Banks hit three homers and Dave Gerard and Don Elston were standouts in relief, but the Cubs were still 20½ games out of first place. Although still on top, Los Angeles (see page 26) stumbled. The Dodgers batted .216, just .172 in the final five games, and lost four of seven. St. Louis players used their bats well, hitting .285 and winning five of six before being shut out by Juan Marichal of the Giants. During a 10-game home stand Rookie Fred Whitfield and Bill White alternated at first base and drove in 21 runs. Not all went well for the Cardinals, however. In his first at bat in the majors Dal Maxvill popped up on a bunt attempt. He compounded his embarrassment by driving home after the game and leaving his wife stranded at the park. San Francisco players were a trifle chagrined when they came home to their wives after losing seven of nine road games. They began the week leading the majors in hitting with a .286 BA, but in losing five of eight they hit only .237. With more batting support, Warren Spahn of Milwaukee might have had an 11-2 record. Instead, after losing his fifth one-run game, he was 6-7. Hank Aaron (.414 BA, three HRs and 10 RBIs) had his best week, and so did Lou Burdette, who won twice. Roy Sievers of Philadelphia also hit his peak with a .364 BA. And he had a grand-slam homer as the Phillies set a league season high by scoring 10 runs in one inning. In all, the Phillies won four of seven.
Against eight teams in the league Jerry Kindall of Cleveland had just 34 hits and a .221 BA. In 11 games against the Yankees, however, Kindall had 18 hits and a .450 BA, and was never more destructive than last week when he got seven for eight and thereby moved the Indians into first place. Minnesota's Twins have no Kindall but they do have Manager Sam Mele, whose given name is Sabath, and they were again at their best on Sunday when they won two from the White Sox. (Overall, their Sunday record was 11-2.) During the remainder of the week they won two, lost three. Rich Rollins' .435 hitting and Jim Kaat's two wins were the biggest assets. No one hit .435 for New York, and the Yankees had trouble from Sunday through Saturday, winning just once (their worst week since mid-May 1961). Washington had its best week: five wins in eight tries. In one four-game span Don Rudolph retired 30 consecutive batters before giving up a walk. Few pitchers had trouble retiring Detroit hitters. The Tigers batted only .215 and lost five times. Dean Chance and Bo Belinsky of Los Angeles each paid $250 fines for an after-hours ruckus, and the team's usually dependable relievers lost four straight after the Angels had moved to within 1½ games of the lead. Some 3,500 women showed up for a combination baseball-fashion show, drank 200 gallons of coffee and ate 12,000 doughnuts. One woman in Boston did not fare as well after she expressed her belief to another fan that Stan Musial was better than Ted Williams. "And then this man dumps a whole bucket of beer over my head," she later explained. On the eve of the trading deadline Dick Radatz walked to his locker and was shocked to see his belongings packed and marked for shipment to the Kansas City Athletics. After a few anxious moments his teammates admitted it was all a gag. Chicago Manager Al Lopez did not think things were so funny. Hotel reservations in Minneapolis were fouled up, the bus driver got lost in Kansas City and the White Sox lost five of seven. Chuck Estrada of Baltimore also had cause to fret: in each of his past four starts the Orioles had been shut out. Catcher Charlie Lau was shaking his head, too, after Carroll Hardy of the Red Sox struck out and wound up on third. It all happened when Hoyt Wilhelm started throwing knuckleballs. Hardy struck out on one of them, but the ball got by Lau, and the Red Sox outfielder made it safely to first. He advanced to second and then third on two more passed balls. Things were looking up for Robin Roberts, though. After 53 weeks without a victory, Roberts picked up two. Kansas City lost twice, then won five in a row. Ed Charles hit four homers and batted .379.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, June 16
HARD-HITTING SECOND BASEMEN were Joey Amalfitano of Colt .45s (.333 BA), Billy Moran of Angels (.438 and nine runs batted in).