The CINCINNATI Reds (7-1) hardly provoked fear among opponents with their bats last week. The Reds had only two homers and just 16 extra-base hits out of 65. Combined with a stingy 2.10 ERA for the pitching staff, however, those singles went a long way as the Reds moved back up to third place. Starters Jim Maloney, Jim O'Toole and John Tsitouris won twice each, and Pete Rose and Marty Keough hit .417 and .409, splitting the Reds' pair of home runs. It required an almost perfect performance to beat Cincy, and that's just what the CHICAGO Cubs' (3-5) right-hander Larry Jackson threw at them, a one-hitter, for one of his two wins. The other came on a two-out, ninth-inning, three-run homer by Ron Santo, one of his four for the week. In all, the Cubs hit nine home runs, but bad pitching—they used 18 pitchers in their five losses—muffled the explosion. The HOUSTON Colt .45s split eight games in a home-run splurge equal to the Cubs', but still could not halt a slide to ninth place. The nine homers, including four by Walt Bond, equaled their best one-week production ever. Here, too, erratic pitching was responsible for the decline: Houston had a 1.00 ERA in the four wins, but allowed 28 runs in the losses. Houston fell only to ninth because the NEW YORK Mets (2-6), losers of 20 of their last 24, were already 14½ games below the Colts. Casey's boys, however, continued to annoy the SAN FRANCISCO Giants (4-3). The Mets have won more games (5) from the Giants than they have from any other team, beating them once last week on a ninth-inning, two-run homer by Jesse Gonder. The Giants moved into first place for the first time since early June on the shutout pitching of Ron Herbel and Gaylord Perry, but they did not stay there long. The PHILADELPHIA Phillies (5-3) defeated them twice and took over the lead on July 4. Second-year Pitcher Ray Culp and Jim Bunning, who won twice, beat the Giants with low-run performances while Chris Short allowed only two runs in two wins. The long-ball hitting was timely, too: Johnny Callison's two-run homer beat the Dodgers 3-2, and Wes Covington hit one for two runs in the 11th to defeat San Francisco. The MILWAUKEE Braves also used the home run to win two games, and strong hitting by Rico Carty (.480) and Gene Oliver (.500) won three more, but three losses at the end of the week dropped them to eighth place. The LOS ANGELES Dodgers (4-2), threatened with big salary cuts by Owner Walter O'Malley, moved from ninth to seventh as Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax each picked up his 11th victory of the year. Losing six of seven, the PITTSBURGH Pirates dropped four one-run games and fell to fourth. With only two home runs all week, both by Julian Javier, the ST. LOUIS Cardinals (3-5) moved into the first division briefly but could not stay there despite strong pitching by lefties Ray Sadecki (2 wins) and Curt Simmons.
"I'm the boss," said Birdie Tebbetts, ailing manager of the CLEVELAND Indians (1-7), when he stepped onto the field Friday for the first time this season. Tebbetts quickly showed what he meant when he put Tito Francona into the starting lineup for the first time in 40 games. Then he left the park to get some rest, and Francona collected four of the team's six hits and drove in the winning run in the 11th inning to break a six-game Indian losing streak. The chief beneficiaries of the Indians' poor play were the CHICAGO White Sox (5-2), who defeated them three times. The Sox got superb pitching from starters Gary Peters and Joel Horlen and reliever Hoyt Wilhelm, who pulled out of a slump to win twice. Rebounding for the DETROIT Tigers (5-4) was another veteran, Hank Aguirre, who won his first game in seven weeks with a three-hitter. The next night Mickey Lolich pitched a five-hitter. It was the first time this year that Tiger pitchers have thrown back-to-back complete games. These two, followed by low-run performances by Phil Regan and Dave Wickersham, plus 11 Tiger homers, pulled Detroit up from eighth to fifth. Moving down at the same time were the LOS ANGELES Angels, who got another game-winning home run—this time a grand slam—from Wonderful Willie Smith, but still lost five of seven. The MINNESOTA Twins (5-3) hit 13 home runs and enjoyed some strong pitching by Dick Stigman, rookie Jerry Arrigo and relievers Al Worthington and John Klippstein. The Twins seemed ready for a run at the top until they ran into the NEW YORK Yankees (6-3) and lost both ends of a July 4 doubleheader. Mickey Mantle won one of the games with a three-run, eighth-inning homer, but otherwise the Yanks failed to deliver in the clutch, as they lost two of three extra-inning games. KANSAS CITY (3-3) won one of those overtime games with New York, climbed out of the cellar and fell right back the next day. The BOSTON Red Sox (4-4) teetered on the edge of the first division, but slid back to sixth when Dick Radatz was assaulted by back-to-back homers in the 10th inning of Friday's game. In the two days before, Sox pitching had been clobbered for 29 runs. The WASHINGTON Senators' (3-5) games were all decided by one or two runs, with John Kennedy connecting for a ninth-inning, three-run homer to win one and Bennie Daniels and Ron Kline combining to pitch a five-hit, 12-inning victory in another. The first-place BALTIMORE Orioles (4-2, see page 12) held on to a three-game lead with tight pitching, the best performance coming from rookie Wally Bunker, who threw a one-hitter, bringing his season's record to 8-2.
July 12, 1964
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bob Allison of the Minnesota Twins has always been a hard worker. During the baseball season he runs a weekly television program. He is also player representative for his team and the American League. When the season is over, he puts on a business suit, picks up his briefcase and becomes Robert Allison, sales representative and public relations man for Coca-Cola. So when Minnesota Manager Sam Mele told Allison this spring that he would have to learn to play first base because Mele wanted hard-hitting young Tony Oliva to take over Allison's old right-field job, Bob took the change with enthusiasm. "It means work," he said, "but you have to work if you want to succeed."
A lot of Minnesota fans were less enthusiastic about the move, claiming it would simply make a mediocre first baseman out of a good right fielder. They did not know Bob Allison. Allison has been so good this season he was chosen for the American League All-Star team, not because of his fielding, but because of his hitting. Never in his six previous major league years has Allison hit as he is hitting this year. His lifetime average is only .258, but this season he has been well over .300. Last week Allison had 11 hits, including four doubles and two home runs. He leads the league in doubles with 23, and is second in home runs with 21 and in runs scored with 60. His average of .336 is also tops. No. 2? Why, Tony Oliva, the man who made Bob Allison a first baseman.