Members of the WASHINGTON (4-2) chapter of the Los Angeles Dodgers Alumni Association had one big homecoming celebration last week. In a doubleheader sweep against the Angels in Chavez Ravine, Frank Howard cracked six hits, including two homers, and knocked in five runs; Ken McMullen went five for nine and hit a home run; and Phil Ortega pitched a five-hit shutout. Receiving another complete game win from Pete Richert, also an ex-Dodger, the Senators swept two doubleheaders, now have a 13-3 record in eight twin bills this year. Pepper pot Don Zimmer, who spent six years with the Dodgers as an infielder, went behind the plate and did well, though Zimmer claimed that Manager Gil Hodges, bedded with a virus, missed a game "because he couldn't stand to see me catch." The 6-foot 7-inch, 255-pound Howard, who went 11 for 24 (.458) during the week, was the big story for the Senators. "I'm not a complete player," Howard admitted. "I can't throw like a complete player should. And I don't always hit the ball like I should. I do try, though." Replied Gil Hodges: "Frank's being paid to hit." Howard saved a victory over Kansas City when he stretched his long arms over the left-field fence in D.C. Stadium to snatch Ken Harrelson's bid for a game-tying three-run homer. MINNESOTA (5-1) Owner Calvin Griffith told the Twin Cities press that his club was only two players short of the pennant. "Yeah, Sandy Koufax and Ron Santo," laughed a cynic, thinking of the long season still ahead for Manager Sam Mele. Jimmie Hall slowed down trade rumors with three homers, a .520 week's batting average and improved play in center field. Vic Davalillo's 10th-inning double and Joe Azcue's pinch-hit two-run single won games for CLEVELAND (4-1). Manager Birdie Tebbetts plugged the second-base hole with ex-Yankee Pedro Gonzalez, who responded with a decisive home run. Whitey Ford won twice, Mel Stottlemyre and Al Downing once each, and NEW YORK (4-2) scuttled some of that collapse talk by taking three of four from Chicago. Elston Howard came off the disabled list, lined a pinch single to beat the White Sox in the 10th. Tom Tresh hit three homers and a single in one game against the White Sox. Manager Al Lopez of sagging CHICAGO (2-4) employed his "quick hook" even quicker. He yanked Tommy John in the third inning, Juan Pizarro in the first during a doubleheader loss (6-1 and 12-0) to the Yankees. Wally Bunker revitalized BALTIMORE (3-3) with a five-hit shutout against the Angels. Slumping John Powell said: "I'm just a hair behind the fast ball and a hair in front of the curve." Charley Dressen rejoined DETROIT (1-4), but the Tigers, unimpressed, turned sour and even lost to their Syracuse farm club. Dick Radatz' first major league homer and two more superb relief performances (6‚Öî innings, 2 hits, 10 strikeouts) were the only BOSTON (3-5) bright spots. Travel-weary LOS ANGELES (4-4) (a game in Boston one day, a doubleheader in L.A. the next) was shut out three times. Jim Gentile errored returning a throw to a KANSAS CITY (1-5) pitcher, was traded to Houston a few days later.
Rain and time did not weaken Bob Veale, PITTSBURGH (5-2) pitching ace. Neither did National League batters. The bespectacled southpaw shut out Philadelphia (16 strikeouts) and New York in rainy weather last week. The Phillies' Chris Short watched Veale endure two delays totaling two hours and five minutes, then said: "I saw him warm up three times, and I swear he got faster every time." Veale allowed only two earned runs while completing four straight starts. The Pirates' 12-game winning streak ended on Thursday, naturally. They had lost every Thursday game this year. Vernon Law started another win skein by blanking New York for the second time in a week. And Jerry Lynch erased his own major league record with his 17th pinch-hit home run. MILWAUKEE (5-2) Outfielder Mack Jones, who flopped miserably in four previous major league tryouts, beat Houston with a bases-empty home run, then Los Angeles with a grand slam. Jones finally learned that a high, inside fast ball—once his "out" pitch—is a ball. Eddie Mathews also hit two homers, including a three-run shot to beat the Dodgers. With four switch-hitting infielders and a makeshift outfield, LOS ANGELES (4-4) still managed to maintain a comfortable lead. Ron Fairly (two-run homer) drove in the winning run for the eighth time this year. "My father told me when you look at those base runners, you look at them as dollar signs—not men," said Fairly. Hal Woodeschick, HOUSTON (4-3) reliever, was so overjoyed the run-starved Astros had obtained slugger Jim Gentile that he asked: "Do you want me to get a cab and meet him at the airport?" Claude Raymond was awarded a start after 140 straight relief appearances, stopped the Cardinals 10-1. The Astros also exceeded their 1964 home attendance after only 27 Astrodome dates. "I definitely had to win this one—or else," smiled NEW YORK (4-3) Pitcher Galen Cisco after he terminated Pittsburgh's win streak. Jack Fisher won three-hit and five-hit games, SAN FRANCISCO (2-4) slugger Willie McCovey, often benched against southpaws the last few years, hit eight of his first 13 homers this season off left-handers. Said McCovey, "Alvin Dark played percentages instead of people." Bob Gibson lost his third straight, and Lou Brock had an 0-for-17 streak as ST. LOUIS (2-5) dropped nine of its last 11. CINCINNATI (4-3) Manager Dick Sisler convinced Joey Jay to junk his cute stuff, saw Jay three-hit Los Angeles to brake the Reds' six-game skid. CHICAGO (1-5) employed 26 pitchers in six games, using Reliever Ted Abernathy in five straight. PHILADELPHIA (3-3) did not have a pitcher among the top 22 earned run averages, also lacked hitting (last in league in runs scored), though John Callison hit three homers in one game. General Manager John Quinn admitted there was a slight dissension problem, too.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: FRANK HOWARD