Lou Johnson found an abandoned bass fiddle in the LOS ANGELES (6-3) locker room and thought it logical to "entertain the boys" before their game with the Braves. After the impromptu concert, the Dodger banjo hitters mauled five pitchers for 16 hits, including Maury Wills's first homer in two years, and 10 runs. Johnson went out and got some base hits of another sort, going eight for 19. Tommy Davis hit his first homer since September 25, 1964. Manager Bobby Bragan couldn't understand why ATLANTA (3-6) was losing. "If I could put my finger on it, I'd be in Washington helping L.B.J." Two big reasons were Tony Cloninger, 43-game winner over the past two years, who completed only one game since opening night, and Wade Blasingame, who is having arm trouble. After losing seven straight, the Braves reached an alltime low in their 89-year National League history when they fell into ninth place behind NEW YORK (4-6). Jack Fisher beat the Dodgers for the first time as a Met. Leo Durocher, upset at the mistakes CHICAGO (4-7) was making, benched Shortstop Don Kessinger (three costly errors in one game), moved Ron Santo from third to short and put Ernie Banks back in the lineup at third. But Santo was bad at shortstop (after one ball caromed off his glove, Leo said, "Any good shortstop would have turned that ball into a double play"), and Banks was bad at third. Durocher gave up on his great experiment, reinstated Kessinger, moved Banks to first and put Santo back on third. Santo responded with two home runs and three RBIs in a 5-3 win. When SAN FRANCISCO (6-2) was winning five straight, Manager Herman Franks said that he "couldn't get excited about this pennant race, yet." The yet came in Philadelphia when Juan Marichal suffered his first defeat in 11 decisions. Observers insisted that in the first 51 games of the season the Giants had been extremely lucky; Franks had used seven first basemen, four second basemen, four shortstops, three right fielders, and four center fielders. Ray Sadecki won his first game since being traded from the Cardinals, and one Bay Area paper headlined: SADECKI GETS BULL OFF BACK. But the shadow of Cepeda was present again in his next start when Sadecki was ineffective, losing 6-1. "I seriously doubt if I ever saw four home runs hit a total of over 1,800 feet," marveled PHILADELPHIA (7-3) Manager Gene Mauch about the four blasts that Richie Allen hit. Although Allen was unable to throw more than 60 feet, Mauch made him his left fielder and told Shortstop Bobby Wine to move into the outfield to relay Allen's throws. Rookie Bob Tolan was a ST. LOUIS (4-5) hero one day and the goat the next. His seventh-inning RBI single tied a game against the Reds, and he scored the winning run in the 10th. Another single beat the Astros but the next night Tolan's throwing error gave the Dodgers the only run of the game. Leo Cardenas of CINCINNATI (2-7) had four home runs in a doubleheader and seven during the week, but the Reds were ineffective. Pete Rose had been in an 8-for-48 slump before he went 3 for 4 against the Cubs, and Deron Johnson was hitting .186. HOUSTON'S (3-5) Rusty Staub became the 10th player to reach the right-field roof in Forbes Field, but his homer, which had given the Astros a 6-0 lead over PITTSBURGH (7-2), was not enough as the hot Pirates came back to win 9-6. Willie Stargell raised his average to .327 with 13 for 19, including four homers and 10 RBIs. Undefeated rookie Woody Fryman won his fourth straight.
Standings: SF 33-18, LA 31-20, Pitt 29-20, Phil 27-21, Hou 27-24, Cin 21-25, StL 21-26, Atl 23-30, NY 17-26, Chi 15-34
With his team slumping badly after taking a 4½-game lead in the pennant race, CLEVELAND (3-7) Manager Birdie Tebbetts decided his problems were in the bullpen. "The most important player is a relief pitcher who can work every day," he said. So Birdie and General Manager Gabe Paul gambled and traded pitchers Lee Stange and Don McMahon to BOSTON (3-7) for Dick (The Monster) Radatz, winner of the Fireman of the Year Award in 1962 and 1964 but a dismal failure last year and this. Radatz had his first chance with the Indians in Kansas City and was hit hard: he gave up three hits, four walks and five runs in ‚Öì of an inning. But Pitching Coach Early Wynn found a flaw in Dick's style, and the trade looked better the next two nights when Radatz saved successive wins over the Twins. Said Radatz, "It's like being born again." Meanwhile, the Red Sox had something to smile about, too, as Dick Stigman and Bob Sadowski, who had come to Boston in earlier trades, each won his first game in a Red Sox uniform. And Jim Gosger's three-run homer in the 16th inning gave the Sox a 6-3 win over NEW YORK (4-5) just seven minutes before an 11:59 p.m. curfew. Jim Bouton started twice for the Yankees, pitched well and won his first game since last June 30. Steve Hamilton continued his excellent relief work as he extended his string of scoreless innings to 18‚Öî. After sweeping a three-game series with the White Sox two weeks earlier to go five games over .500, MINNESOTA (4-6) won only four of its next 18 to drop five below .500 and fall into a tie for seventh place. The main reason for the decline seemed to be poor defensive work, especially by Third Baseman Harmon Killebrew, whose throwing error against Baltimore let two runs score and prompted Owner Cal Griffith to remark that "It was the wildest throw I've ever seen." But Killebrew was beginning to hit—five homers in seven games. Bernie Allen helped beat the Orioles with a two-run homer but then gave a game to the Tigers with successive errors on routine plays. Camilo Pascual continued to have trouble, allowing 24 hits and 21 runs in 12 innings. The conflict between BALTIMORE (7-3) Manager Hank Bauer and Jerry Adair flared again. Adair yelled to be traded "any place but Washington; Washington's too near Baltimore." His replacement, Dave Johnson, hit .343 last week (12 for 35). KANSAS CITY (5-4) Owner Charlie Finley continued to feud with Writer Joe McGuff after taking exception to McGuff's remarks about recent KC player deals. Finley beamed as one new arrival, Joe Nossek, doubled in two runs and scored a third to beat the Orioles and then singled home the winning run to defeat the Indians. A's hitters exploded for 39 hits in three games and the Athletics won all three. John Romano raised his batting average to .309 to provide the muscle as CHICAGO (8-2) pitchers threw six shutouts—two each by Jack Lamabe (left) and John Buzhardt and one each by Tommy John and Gary Peters. The White Sox lost Shortstop Ron Hansen for the season with a ruptured disk and Third Baseman Pete Ward for several weeks with a hernia. Willie Horton broke a 0 for 29 slump with a home run to give DETROIT (6-3) a 1-0 win over CALIFORNIA (4-6). The Angels played three straight extra-inning games, including one that went 17, and lost them all. Heavy hitting by Don Lock, Frank Howard, and Jim King moved WASHINGTON (5-6) into the first division for the first time since 1961, although it lasted only one day.
Standings: Clev 30-17, Balt 30-18, Det 28-19, Chi 24-22, Cal 24-25, NY 21-25, Minn 21-25, Wash 22-28, KC 18-28, Bos 19-30
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jack Lamabe tends to be fat. His round, red face resting on a 205-pound frame earned him the nickname "Tomatoes" when he was with the Boston Red Sox, and his eating habits made him the target for unkind remarks. Former Red Sox Pitching Coach Harry Dorish claimed that Lamabe was the only man who could pitch in 90° weather and still gain weight. Dick Radatz had a saying about Jack's feats with knife and fork: "Tomatoes, Tomatoes, I know your fate...." His fate was demotion to the minors ("I haven't been of any help," he told Manager Billy Herman), but from Toronto he climbed back up to Houston and then was traded to the White Sox. Mired in the bullpen (only 15‚Öì innings pitched all season) and struggling (5.40 ERA), he pitched 3‚Öî innings of relief against the Orioles on May 24 and gave up only two hits. This so impressed Manager Eddie Stanky that he gave Lamabe a chance to start. Through seven innings Tomatoes had a no-hit game, and when it was over he had a one-hit shutout, the first shutout he had ever pitched in the majors. Stanky put Jack in the starting rotation and four days later, in his next start, he pitched his second successive shutout, beating Washington 8-0 on three hits. Now Lamabe had a 3-1 record, a respectable 2.45 ERA and a problem. Another shutout or two and he might have to cancel the wedding he has planned for July 11. Why? Next day is the All-Star Game in St. Louis, and Lamabe just might have to be there.
TEAM LEADERS: PITCHING
through June 4