No longer with us anymore, sports fans, is the Great American League PennantRace of 1962. Last week New York stopped losing and started the wildest runawayin the league since, oh, September 1961. So winning were the Yankee ways thatMinnesota, which won all six of its games, wound up losing ground. The Twinswere tough because Harmon Killebrew (.474, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) and Bob Allison (3HRs, 11 RBIs) were hitting. Once they both smashed grand slams in the sameinning, and nobody ever did that before. The Twins moved to third in the steadof the vanishing Indians, who started losing on Friday the 13th and, with an8.22 ERA for the week, couldn't stop. To make matters worse, the boom-boomCleveland scoreboard went off to herald a rare Indian homer, and a pigeon waskilled by the explosion. Ornithologists will also note that the Orioles wonfive in a row. Manager Billy Hitchcock said he could detect an "atmospherein the dugout that we're going to win," whereupon Baltimore lost three ofits next four. Kansas City, battling to get out of ninth place, held the firstof its "Salute to the American League" nights. Detroit promptly salutedthe A's. After having hit .139 in seven straight losses, the Tigers arrived inKC and scored two wins, 8 HRs and 17 runs. Boston almost reached .500, thenslumped with a 1-5 mark. Chicago wasn't much better, with a 2-4, despite JuanPizarro's two-hitter. Ken McBride of Los Angeles had two shutouts, giving him10 straight wins. Washington got beautiful pitching (2.35 ERA for the week) towin five quick ones in a row. Don Rudolph's win took an hour and 32 minutes;the average game time was a mere 2:12. That's nothing new for the Senators, whohave played 12 games this year in two hours or less.
Things were so good for Philadelphia that Manager Gene Mauch left the dugoutfor the third base coaching box, the better to send his men home against theHouston Colt .45s. The Phils beat the Colts four straight, have now won all 12games against Houston. General Manager Paul Richards was anxiously scanning the.45s' farm system for more hitters, but nothing much helped. Dick Farrell evenadmitted that he tossed a spitter—a sweat ball, technically—to Stan Musial, butThe Man lined it for a single. "I can't even get you out on an illegalpitch," Farrell groaned. St. Louis got a third straight three-hitter fromright-hander Hoot Gibson but still slipped to fifth. Chicago lost six of sevenwith inept fielding. The league statistics show the Cubs fourth in fielding,but not included in such statistics are the 70 battery errors that the club hasmade. Three passed balls in one inning cost them a game this week. Pittsburghwas still a winner (5-2), and the New York Mets were still losers (another sixin a row). Even when the Mets managed eight earned runs off Bob Bolin of SanFrancisco, they lost 9-8. Even with the powerful Giants backing him, Bolincan't expect to win that way too often. It is much easier to win by pitchingfive innings of shutout relief—which he did later in the week. Milwaukee playedevenly, winning every other game, but the fans went berserk. They threw a beercan and a firecracker from the upper deck; somebody stole part of ManagerBirdie Tebbetts" prized bat collection and a young boy interfered with afly ball to cost Frank Boiling an extra-base hit. In Cincinnati a literarycritic named Frank Howard went after Author-Pitcher Jim Brosnan with a bat. Thepitchers' Pepys had written some uncomplimentary things about Howard, andBrosnan's pitching prose suffered as a result when Howard homered off him togive Los Angeles a big extra-inning win. Howard slapped four homers during theweek, Tommy Davis ran his RBI total to 100 and Don Drysdale acquired his 17thwin. For the Dodgers, however, the magic number is six—that's how many weeks itmay be before the injured Sandy Koufax will be able to take his regular turn inthe pitching rotation.
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SUDDEN STARS were Bob Bolin of Giants, who won two, is now 5-0 since June 27; Senators' Bennie Daniels, who shut out Chicago.