It was an exasperating week for BALTIMORE (5-2). Brooks Robinson was upset about being quoted that his team had the pennant locked up. "I never said it," insisted Brooks. Along came Frank Robinson, saying, "You don't have to apologize for nothin'. We're ahead. Let 'em come catch us if they can." Boog Powell failed to follow orders and also had a muscle spasm, but the results were gratifying. On-deck batter Curt Blefary. acting on Manager Hank Bauer's instruction, told Powell to hit the ball to left for a single. Powell failed, in a positive sort of way. Best he could do was slam the ball to right for a three-run homer. A day later Powell did hit to left. Bothered by a muscle spasm in his leg, he held up at first base. Then, seeing the Yankees make the first of three errors on that play, he began running and sliding and by the time he was done he had lumbered across home plate. Powell was removed from the game so he could rest his leg, and his replacement, Sam Bowens, drove in the winning run in the 11th. Eddie Watt, one of four sore-armed pitchers, explained his own peculiar arm trouble by saying, "I've got an enlarged medial condyle." Desperate for a starter, Bauer called on Moe Drabowsky, who had not started in 15 months. Drabowsky gave up only four hits and beat the Senators 2-1. Speaking of the Orioles, Bobby Richardson of NEW YORK (3-4) said, "They are good, great, marvelous, wonderful." The Yankees themselves were bad, inept, sloppy, awful. Pitcher Al Downing twice tried to sacrifice and both times bunted into double plays as he lost to the Indians 3-2. CALIFORNIA (3-4) will have to make do for the rest of the year without Rick Reichardt, who was operated on for removal of a malfunctioning kidney. Without him, the Angels briefly dropped from second place to sixth, and their hitting fell to a league-low of .231. DETROIT (3-4) mourned the loss of the late Manager Charley Dressen, 67, who died of a heart attack. Red Sox Coach Sal Maglie reportedly said of Earl Wilson, "He's only a .500 pitcher." Wilson retaliated by beating his old Red Sox teammates 13-1, pitching a four-hitter and getting three hits himself, one a grand-slam homer. That left Wilson with a far-from-.500 record of 13-9. Talking about his own KANSAS CITY (3-4) club and CHICAGO (5-2), Manager Al Dark said, "The teams are alike. We depend on pitching and defense." Whereupon the two teams scored 33 runs on 58 hits and committed six errors in three games, all won by the White Sox. Since the All-Star break, there has been no more formidable team in the league than the White Sox, who have won 22 of 32 games, including eight in a row. Controlling interest in the CLEVELAND (3-5) club was sold to Restaurateur Vernon Stouffer. Gabe Paul was assured of a 10-year contract as general manager, but there were mutterings that Manager Birdie Tebbetts would not be rehired. When not embroiled in finances, contracts and rumors, the Indians played baseball—sort of. In one game against the Yankees, they made six errors in one inning. Errors cost WASHINGTON (2-5) two games, but a flurry of homers won two others. Three home runs in three days by Harmon Killebrew backed up sound pitching by Jim Grant, Jim Kaat and Jim Perry to give MINNESOTA (3-4) its only wins. Tony Conigliaro had four hits in one game, Carl Yastrzemski four in the next as BOSTON (4-2) beat the Indians 13-3 and the Tigers 13-9. It was a freak catch by Conigliaro that was the most unusual feat of the week, however. Conigliaro saved a 3-1 victory over the Indians when Chuck Hinton's would-be three-run homer, a drive to the bullpen, came out of the fog and plopped into his glove. "I lost the ball completely," Conigliaro admitted. "If I don't catch it, it hits me on the head."
Standings: Balt 76-41, Det 62-54, Clev 62-56, Cal 60-57, Chi 60-57, Minn 60-58, NY 53-65, KC 52-65, Bos 53-69, Wash 53-69
"Boys, don't forget your vitamins," says Mike Shannon of ST. LOUIS (4-3) before each game. It may be the quietest rallying cry ever, but the Cards are convinced it has something to do with their resurgence. In late May they were in ninth place. After taking up Shannon's pregame ritual of downing vitamin pills, the Cardinals have been 47-36 and have moved up to fifth place. CHICAGO (3-3) won twice in a row for only the sixth time this year, on the slugging of Randy Hundley (below) and pinch singles by Lee Thomas and George Altman. LOS ANGELES (2-5) lost four straight games by a total of five runs despite three homers by Jim Lefebvre. Two home runs by John Bateman enabled HOUSTON (2-4) to defeat the Cubs 8-5, ending an eight-game losing streak. Mike Cuellar and Dave Giusti hooked up in successive pitching duels against Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal of SAN FRANCISCO (4-3). The Giants scored just one run in those games—on a ninth-inning homer by Willie Mays—which gave Perry a 1-0 win over Cuellar. Perry used just 92 pitches in winning his 18th of the season. The next day Giusti threw a one-hitter and beat Marichal 3-0. Jim Bunning, who started the week with a 10-0 record in August games since coming to PHILADELPHIA (3-3) three seasons ago, lost to the Cardinals 3-1. Four days later, supported by home runs by Johnny Briggs and Richie Allen, Bunning got back into his August groove by beating the Braves 4-2. That was the start of a doubleheader sweep of ATLANTA (4-2), the first losses under Billy Hitchcock, who was awakened one morning at 7:40 and told that he was replacing Bobby Bragan as manager. Hitchcock's debut was like an old movie script. He moved Felipe Alou back to the lead-off spot, and Felipe hit a first-inning homer off Sandy Koufax. Then, Eddie Mathews, reinstated at third base by Hitchcock, hit another home run in the ninth for a 2-1 win. Denny Lemaster, who held the Dodgers to three hits, was the winner before 52,270 fans, the largest crowd so far at Atlanta Stadium, where capacity is listed as 50,893. After being congratulated on two fine fielding plays against the Cardinals, Ron Swoboda of NEW YORK (2-5) said, "It was nice to make good catches against St. Louis because that's the club I committed some of my greatest atrocities against." Art Shamsky hit a record-equaling four consecutive homers for CINCINNATI (3-3). Three came in one game (page 26), yet the Reds lost 14-11 to PITTSBURGH (5-1) in 13 innings. There was a record-tying total of 11 home runs in the game, six by the Pirates, but the game was won on a single by Manny Mota. The day before, the Pirates beat the Mets 7-5 on a ninth-inning two-run homer by Willie Stargell that was supposed to have been a single. Earlier in the game, Stargell had swung for homers and had grounded out twice against lefthander Rob Gardner. In the ninth Manager Harry Walker called Stargell back from the plate. "He told me to do what I was practicing—hitting to the opposite field against left-handers," said Stargell. So Stargell went up to poke the ball to left field and, instead, slugged it into the right field stands.
Standings: Pitt 69-47, SF 69-50, LA 65-50, Phil 63-54, StL 61-56, Cin 59-57, Atl 55-61, Hou 51-65, NY 51-66, Chi 39-76
CUBS' RANDY HUNDLEY
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
It took 26 years of suffering through the travesties of 58 catchers, but the Cubs feel they have finally found a replacement for Gabby Hartnett. Gone, they feel, are the days of Cuno Barragan, Johnny Pramesa, Roy Easterwood and other forgettable Cub catchers, for now they have 24-year-old Randy Hundley. Herman Franks, the Giant manager and one of Leo Durocher's best friends, gave Leo the tip-off on Hundley, "He can catch, he can throw and he can run, but he couldn't hit me if I walked in front of him." Since Durocher needed a defensive catcher, he acquired Hundley in a trade with the Giants last winter. Soon after the season began, however, Hundley was benched, not for poor hitting—which he was also guilty of—but because of poor throwing. Hundley threw hard all right. The trouble was, infielders covering second base on steals had to perform like pass-catching ends to grab his scatter-arm throws. Hundley worked hard on his throwing, returned to the lineup, and since then his on-target pegs to second have caught Maury Wills and Lou Brock stealing three times each. What's more, he began hitting. In his first 15 times up last week, Hundley had 10 hits, including four homers, and 10 RBIs. In one game against Houston he hit for the cycle. The spree left him with a .264 average and 16 home runs, establishing him as the best rookie catcher in the majors. It is doubtful whether Herman Franks would risk walking in front of him now.