ALL STAR GAME
In an All-Star Game marked by five home runs it took a bad-hop infield single by Ron Santo and a face-saving catch by Willie Mays to give the National League a 6-5 victory over the American League in Minnesota and a one-game lead in the 33-year-old series. Mays, Joe Torre and Willie Stargell homered to give the NL a 5-0 lead after two innings, but the Americans pulled even after Dick McAuliffe and Harmon Killebrew each hit two-run homers in the fifth. Santo's hit, a possible double-play ball that hopped over Bobby Richardson at second base, scored Mays with the decisive run in the seventh. But Willie nearly cost the National League the game in the eighth. With runners on second and third and two out, Jimmie Hall hit a line drive to center field. Mays started in and slipped, then darted back at full speed, leaped and caught the ball one-handed over his shoulder. Said Mays later, "Wes Covington taught me that play."
Chicago (5-1) won three extra-inning games behind Eddie Fisher's knuckle-ball relief pitching and gained three games on Minnesota. Hits by Jimmie Schaffer and Al Weis beat Cleveland in the 12th inning, a triple by Floyd Robinson whipped Los Angeles in the 11th and a single by Danny Cater did in Kansas City in the 10th. Fisher won two of the games, including one on his 29th birthday. For the year, Eddie also had 18 saves and led the league with 11 victories and a 1.35 ERA. Fisher, who had pitched in 48 of Chicago's 87 games, is the reason Manager Al Lopez often removes his starters at the first sign of a rally. "Fisher has been so remarkable and I have so much confidence in him that I have been quicker in relieving pitchers than ever before," says Lopez. Fisher was primarily a fast-ball pitcher when he was with San Francisco. Lopez suggested that he concentrate on the knuckler after he joined the White Sox in 1962, and now Eddie uses the pitch 70% to 80% of the time. KANSAS CITY (4-2) enjoyed its finest week of the season, beating the Twins three straight. Ken Harrelson and Dick Green each hit four home runs. Tom Reynolds doubled home two runs in the ninth inning to win one game, singled and scored the winning run in the ninth inning of another. Larry Brown and Pedro Gonzalez revived CLEVELAND (3-2) after the Indians had lost six straight. Boog Powell's first home run in more than two months and Luis Aparicio's first stolen base since Memorial Day perked BALTIMORE (2-1). Joe Pepitone of NEW YORK (3-1) and Tony Conigliaro of BOSTON (1-3) were benched briefly for sour deportment. Pepitone missed a private batting session but returned with a single the next day to beat Washington. Conigliaro, a rock 'n' roll singer in the off season, irked Manager Billy Herman by playing Beatle-type records on a flight from Boston to Cleveland. "I wonder how he'd like playing them on a bus from Toronto to Toledo?" said Herman, whose team had lost 32 of 43. MINNESOTA (2-4) Manager Sam Mele, usually a calm man, was suspended for five days and fined $500 after a shoving match with Umpire Bill Valentine as the pennant pressure began to show. Pitcher Dave Boswell went on the disabled list with mononucleosis. Mike McCormick's two-hit shutout over the Yankees saved WASHINGTON (1-3). Frank Howard's home run into Yankee Stadium's third deck in left field was one of the longest in Stadium history. Two straight wild pitches by Larry Sherry gave DETROIT (1-2) a 2-1 loss to Baltimore, LOS ANGELES (1-4) struggled, losing three straight to Chicago before Fred Newman beat the Twins.
San Francisco (2-1) Pitcher Juan Marichal's performance in the All-Star Game, where he faced only nine batters in three innings and won the Most Valuable Player award, was not surprising. In his last five starts, including a five-hit shutout of Houston last week, Marichal pitched five complete games and allowed only 24 hits. For the season, Juan had eight shutouts, a 15-7 record and a 1.47 ERA, the league's lowest. Marveled teammate Jack Sanford: "Every time I look up Marichal has two outs and two strikes on the batter." Giants' Owner Horace Stoneham was so enthused with the team's "new togetherness" that he gave Manager Herman Franks a new contract, with a sizable raise, extending through 1966. MILWAUKEE (6-1) pitching continued to be inconsistent, but strong hitting powered the Braves to six straight wins. Starter Bob Sadowski pitched 7‚Öì hitless innings, then failed to get another man out. Wade Blasingame threw 175 pitches to win a 12-2 game. And Ken Johnson, handed an early 9-0 lead, still needed relief. Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax pitched successive shutouts, also contributed key hits to boost LOS ANGELES (4-0) back into first place. Koufax now has struck out 200 batters in five straight seasons—a league record. CINCINNATI (3-2) slipped 1½ games behind the Dodgers. Frank Robinson credited Chico Ruiz with helping him end an 0 for 22 slump, saying, "Chico weighed me down with medals before I went to the plate." Relievers Barney Schultz, Hal Woodeschick and Don Dennis rescued ST. LOUIS (4-0), which three times rallied to beat NEW YORK (0-5). The Mets lost their eighth straight, also released Warren Spahn, who was signed by the Giants. HOUSTON (1-2) Second Baseman Joe Morgan hit another home run, giving him eight in 11 games. CHICAGO (1-5) pulled a triple play but still lost to the Braves. Bob Veale of PITTSBURGH (1-4) lasted only two innings as the starter and loser one day, gave up the winning run on a wild pitch in relief the next, as the Pirates lost 14 of 20. PHILADELPHIA (1-3) stayed near the leaders despite mental lapses by Tony Gonzalez and Alex Johnson, both of whom strolled off second base thinking the inning was over and were picked off.
TEAM LEADERS: PITCHING*
Strikeouts per 9 innings
*through July 17