Bill Mazeroski surprises people. On his wedding day he surprised his bride when, on a dare, he shoved a plug of chewing tobacco into his mouth as he left the church. Exactly two years and two days later the Pirate second baseman almost accomplished the impossible task of leaving Casey Stengel speechless when he homered to beat the Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series. On the other hand, he has left opposing hitters talking to themselves after turning their sure hits into outs. Last March, though, Mazeroski surprised, nay shocked, new PITTSBURGH (5-1) Manager Harry Walker when he suffered a broken ankle. It was two months before Mazeroski played again. By then all that the Pirates owned was a .235 team batting average, a six-game losing streak and a home in the cellar. The Pirates and Mazeroski lost two more games before they began winning, but then they kept on winning—12 in a row and, after two defeats, another seven straight. When short on hits in one game last week, they won on a balk. When short on balks, they won with 19 hits. Could one player lift a team to 20 wins in 23 games, from 10th place to fifth and from 13½ games behind to seven? Mazeroski's teammates think so. "He's as important to us as Mays is to the Giants," Outfielder Bill Virdon says. "To me," says First Baseman Donn Clendenon, "Maz at second is like a businessman having a very efficient secretary: he covers up a lot of my mistakes." "When Maz returned it was like taking a deep breath—we were finally ready to go," says Vern Law, winner of five straight since Mazeroski came back. The refusal of league-leading LOS ANGELES (6-2) to collapse has been as impressive as the Pirate snapback. Seventh in scoring runs, the Dodger offense was further weakened when Lou Johnson, filling in very capably for the injured Tommy Davis, fractured his thumb. PHILADELPHIA (5-2) had to do without Bo Belinsky, who learned that he had been pitching for a month with a cracked rib. The Phillies survived. Johnny Callison and Frank Thomas supplied the clutch hits. Chris Short and Ray Herbert supplied the pitching. And Dick Stuart supplied the fielding! Stuart once hurled himself at first base and tagged the bag with his bare hand for the third out that saved two runs, NEW YORK (0-7) extended its winless streak to 10, losing to Juan Marichal of the Giants and to Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale of the Dodgers, SAN FRANCISCO (4-2) was buoyed by three Willie Mays homers, depressed by news that Orlando Cepeda still could not play. Vocalist-Outfielder Lee Maye of slumping HOUSTON (0-6) sang the blues after turning an easy fly into an error that cost a game. Manager Bobby Bragan likened his MILWAUKEE (5-1) sluggers to the 1927 Yankees, and his players had 11 homers and 34 runs during the week to support his argument. ST. LOUIS (2-5) Manager Red Schoendienst complained about home runs. His pitchers allowed 69 in the first 55 games, a record-breaking pace. Only one CINCINNATI (4-3) starter lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings, and only good relief work by Joe Nuxhall and Billy McCool kept the Reds in third place. Commenting on the Cubs' 4-13 slump, Ron Santo of CHICAGO (3-4) said, "It's making a man out of me."
CLEVELAND (4-4) Manager Birdie Tebbetts had something up his sleeve or, rather, up the sleeve of Minnesota Pitcher Jim Kaat. In the ninth inning of a game he was losing 1-0, Tebbetts protested successfully to the umpires that Kaat had a distracting and illegal hole in the sleeve of his sweat shirt. The game was held up while the shirt was trimmed above the hole. Kaat then walked Rocky Colavito, gave up a home run to Max Alvis and lost 2-1. "The thing I like about this club is its quiet confidence," said Tebbetts, after taking three of four games from the first-place Twins. Then his Indians lost three in a row to last-place KANSAS CITY (4-3). During the week the A's got complete-game wins from John O'Donoghue, Fred Talbot (a shutout against the Indians) and Roland Sheldon. They also got a key bunt and a home run from Jim Landis in their most successful week of the season. "The breaks are starting to go our way," said NEW YORK (4-2) Manager Johnny Keane. "Now I believe we're ready to make our move." The Yankees made a few moves around the Newark airport while waiting for a flight and wound up with $750 in fines for whistling, drinking and wounding the Yankee image. Dean Chance of LOS ANGELES (2-4) was found to be suffering from a "tremendous" abscess. After his sixth poor performance in a row, Chance was sent to the doctor for treatment, then to the bullpen for recuperation. BOSTON (1-6) Pitcher Jerry Stephenson complained of a sore arm, but when Manager Billy Herman saw the Lardneresque Stephenson pick up a stray ball in practice and throw it more than 400 feet on the fly he began to wonder. Used in relief, Stephenson pitched well. Few other Sox pitchers did, however, and that, coupled with a .216 team batting average, cost the Red Sox. Wally Bunker of BALTIMORE (4-2) had an 8.68 ERA before being given a shot of cortisone. Then he pitched 31 1/3 innings and compiled an 0.57 ERA. After being felled by a drive off the bat of Don Lock, WASHINGTON (3-4) Manager Gil Hodges said, "That's the hardest he's hit a ball all year." Lock hit a grand-slam homer that night, another homer the next day. CHICAGO (6-2) Manager Al Lopez was angry for a time with a few of his players. But after his club won four of five games he was all smiles again. MINNESOTA (3-5) won a doubleheader from the Tigers when Jimmie Hall hit a 10th-inning sacrifice fly in one game and a 12th-inning triple in the other. DETROIT (4-3) got solid hitting from Al Kaline and Willie Horton, and thinking Manager Charley Dressen must have thought of something, because the Tigers won a Sunday game after 10 Sabbath losses in a row.
TEAM LEADERS: BATTING*
*through June 12