Chicago (8-0) at last started to act like a pennant contender should and, by picking on the league's three worst teams, ran up a 10-game winning streak to jump from fifth place to second—6½ games behind the Twins. Disappointing Juan Pizarro and Gary Peters, who combined for 39 victories last year but only nine this season before the week began, added two more to their total with strong pitching performances, while Bill Skowron, John Romano and Pete Ward, all placid at the plate lately, finally provided some punch. Skowron and Romano each hit two home runs. Ward drove in three runs in one game, doubled to beat Boston in another. Most promising of all was the fact that the Sox, after going four months without hitting home runs in more than four successive games, homered in nine straight. All this revived Manager Al Lopez, who was so happy after one victory last week he told his players, "The beer's on me." Grabbing a drink, Ward toasted Lopez with "Here's to a pennant." Said Lopez, "I'll drink to that." But the beer had a flat taste, for MINNESOTA (4-3) showed no signs of folding. Shortstop Zoilo Versalles won one game with his base running, Utility Man Sandy Valdespino won another with a pinch-hit single and Manager Sam Mele won still another with his brain. In a game against the Tigers, Mele ordered an intentional walk to the dangerous Dick McAuliffe with the pitcher coming up next and a runner on second, standard strategy that appeared to backfire when Jake Wood, hitting for Pitcher Mickey Lolich, singled to tie the score. But the Twins won anyway, just as Mele had figured it all along. "We got Lolich, who had struck out 13 of our batters in seven innings, out of the game," he said, "and beat his reliever the next inning." DETROIT (4-3) lost McAuliffe for the season when he fractured a finger two games later, but Manager Charlie Dressen was still full of bounce. "We won't surrender until we're nine out with eight games to play," he said with a sick smile. The other so-called pennant contenders, BALTIMORE (2-2) and CLEVELAND (2-4), languished far behind as the Orioles lost to rookie pitchers Jim Lonborg of the Red Sox and Jackie Cullen of the Yankees, while the Indians dropped two of three to both the Athletics and WASHINGTON (2-4). The two losses to the Senators were particularly galling—in the ninth inning of one Dick Nen hit a two-run homer to beat the Indians, and in the eighth inning of the other Woodie Held did the same thing. BOSTON'S (2-6) Tony Conigliaro, playing his second game after three weeks out with a broken wrist, welcomed back Manager Billy Herman, who had just returned after an appendectomy, with a home run, a triple, a double and four RBIs. Jack Sanford, purchased by LOS ANGELES (3-4) from the Giants earlier in the week, beat the Twins in his American League debut, while Joe Adcock, another old National Leaguer, hit two home runs. KANSAS CITY (2-5) used 23 of its 24 players—only Pitcher Fred Talbot was a spectator—in a game against the White Sox and still lost. Said Al Lopez, "It was the craziest game I've seen in all my years in baseball." NEW YORK (3-1) finally climbed over .500 as Clete Boyer and Tom Tresh homered to win two games.
Standings: Minn 79-46, Chi 71 51, Det 70-53, Balt 67-53, Clev 68-54, NY 63-61, LA 56-58, Wash 54-70, Bos 45-78, KC 41-80
In the eighth inning of a game in Chicago last week Catcher Ed Bailey of the Cubs violated baseball's oldest unwritten law when he said to Pitcher Jim Maloney of CINCINNATI (4-2), "Say, Jim, you're perfect out there today, but we've got a guy in the weeds who'll get you." The guy never did, neither did the Cubs—and Maloney pitched and won a 10-inning no-hitter 1-0 on Leo Cardenas' home run. Two months ago Maloney pitched another 10-inning no-hitter but lost that one to the Mets 1-0 in the 11th. Last week, as the Cubs' Larry Jackson matched runless innings with him, Maloney kept saying to himself, "My gosh, don't tell me it's going to happen again!" It almost did happen again, for Maloney went to 3 and 2 on 13 batters, walked 10 and loaded the bases twice. He also struck out 12 ("I made some really unbelievable pitches"). The Reds rewarded Maloney, who figured his "next no-hitter should be in October—in the World Series," with his second $1,000 raise this year. In addition to winning the game for Maloney, Cardenas singled home the decisive run that gave Joe Nuxhall his ninth win in his last 10 decisions, SAN FRANCISCO (5-2) put pressure on the Dodgers as Willie Mays homered in six straight games and 18-year-old rookie Ken Henderson beat the Mets with a single one day and a double the next. LOS ANGELES (3-4) started to solicit advertisements for a Dodger World Series program. Johnny Briggs and Richie Allen of PHILADELPHIA (3-3) each hit home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie two games, but the Phillies lost both of them in extra innings. Outfielder Lou Brock set a modern ST. LOUIS (2-6) team record when he stole his 49th base, and CHICAGO (3-4) Pitcher Bill Faul, on leave from the Air National Guard, won his third game of the year—all of them shutouts. Eddie Mathews had six RBIs in one game and a game-winning two-run homer in another for MILWAUKEE (4-3). Henry Aaron, however, lost a home run when the umpire ruled he stepped out of the batter's box while swinging. HOUSTON'S (3-4) Robin Roberts pitched his second straight shutout over PITTSBURGH (4-2), then easily beat the Cubs—for his third victory in a row since returning to the National League. After being eliminated from the pennant race last week with 44 games to play, NEW YORK (3-4) relaxed and took three straight from the Cardinals.
Standings: LA 72-53, SF 69-51, Mil 70-52, Cin 68-54, Phil 66-57, Pitt 65-61, StL 60-65, Chi 59-68, Hou 51-73, NY 39-85
Locker, White Sox
J. Miller, Orioles
Howard, White Sox
*through August 21