Something had to happen in SAN FRANCISCO (5-4), especially after the power-happy Giants had gone 35 innings without a home run. So, in four straight games, Willie Mays hit a three-run homer to beat the Cards, 3-2, four different players hit homers to save a game for Ray Sadecki, Jim Davenport pinch-hit a grand slam to help Juan Marichal win his 14th game, and Willie McCovey and Tom Haller combined home runs to win a thriller from the Reds. Sadecki's victory was bizarre. On the verge of a demotion to the minors, he fell behind 5-0 in the third inning—but because of bleeders, tricklers, two errors and a passed ball. Manager Herman Franks stayed with him ("Why not? The runs weren't his fault."), and he pitched shutout ball the rest of the way. Giant Outfielder Len Gabrielson, knowing that Sadecki wore contact lenses and remembering that his wife seemed to see "higher" with contacts, suggested to Catcher Haller that he hold his glove lower for Sadecki. "Gabe has something," Haller said later. "Sadecki never pitched better than he did after the glove was lowered." As for that thriller with the Reds, McCovey hit a two-run homer before knocking Jim Maloney out of the box with a line drive off his knee, and in the 12th, with the Giants behind 7-6, Haller hit a two-run home run to send CINCINNATI (1-7) to its 11th straight defeat. Tony Cloninger of ATLANTA (6-2) became the first NL player to hit two grand-slam homers in one game, and his nine RBIs set a major league record for a pitcher. PHILADELPHIA (4-5) Manager Gene Mauch and Mets Catcher Jerry Grote had words when Mauch spooked Grote as the latter attempted to catch a foul pop in the Phillie dugout. NEW YORK (5-6) scored 34 runs on 58 hits in taking four out of five games from the Phils in Philadelphia. CHICAGO (3-6) Pitcher Bill Faul fell to the minors after he questioned the judgment of Manager Leo Durocher. "Who called for that pitch?" he asked, after a curve ball had been hit for a homer. In 10 games Cub pitchers gave up 72 runs; their own players scored 42. Ron Santo returned, after recovering from a facial fracture, and extended his batting streak to 28 games for a new Cub record. Asked where PITTSBURGH (8-3) would be without rookie pitchers Woody Fryman and Steve Blass, Manager Harry Walker answered, "Up the creek." A crowd of 47,656, largest ever to see a sporting event in ST. LOUIS (4-4), watched as the Cardinals defeated the Astros 7-1. HOUSTON (3-4) released 39-year-old Robin Roberts, who was still 16 wins short of 300 career victories. Dick Stuart, late of the Mets, joined LOS ANGELES (5-3) and found a "We Try Harder" button taped to his locker.
Standings: SF 54-33, Pitt 52-33, LA 47-36, Phil 46-39, Hou 45-40, StL 39-43, Atl 41-47, Cin 37-46, NY 35-48, Chi 26-57
July 17, 1966
Two days before playing in his first major league game, KANSAS CITY (7-2) rookie Jim Nash arrived in Detroit with $8 in his pocket after being called up from Mobile; by the time he had taken a cab and two buses from the airport to Tiger Stadium, he was broke. "I checked into the majors without a cent—just like a rookie," he remarked. Tiger batters didn't think he threw like a rookie, as the 6-foot 5-inch 200-pounder pitched 6‚Öì innings, giving up six hits while striking out seven to win his first game. No longer bothered by an arm injury, Lew Krausse won twice, and Mike Hershberger continued his excellent hitting (over .300 since June 1). Arriving at the Kansas City airport at 5 a.m., the A's found a group of fans waiting with signs proclaiming, "DARK, THE SPARK THAT FILLS THE PARK." BALTIMORE (4-4) had its own sparks: Boog Powell (below) and Russ Snyder, who continued to lead the league in hitting even though platooned by Manager Hank Bauer. Don McMahon won three games for BOSTON (10-3), and Tony Conigliaro broke out of a two-month slump with 18 for 35 as the Red Sox played their best ball of the season. DETROIT (2-7) Manager Bob Swift drew the ire of General Manager Jim Campbell and the crowd when he pinch-hit for All-Star Dick McAuliffe, who had a 3-2 count with a runner at third and one out when he was removed from the game, and Earl Wilson, one of the league's best-hitting pitchers, in a loss to CALIFORNIA (7-2). Al Kaline had another good week: five homers, 11 RBIs and 15 hits in 33 at bats. Angel rookie Clyde Wright won his third game of the year—2-1 over the Orioles. Ailing Whitey Ford asked to be moved to the bullpen where, after spending his first game, he told NEW YORK (4-8) Manager Ralph Houk, "I can't understand the fans out there; they all speak Spanish." Mickey Mantle had four homers (11 in his last 14 games) before being hurt again, and Fritz Peterson won two games, one a two-hitter over CHICAGO (3-9) and another against WASHINGTON (7-4). Tommie Agee, who leads the White Sox in seven departments, was selected to the All-Star team. Relief Pitcher Dick Lines of the Senators lowered his ERA from 2.77 to 2.35. Tony Oliva went on an eight-game hitting streak, and MINNESOTA (5-3) broke a seven-game losing streak. CLEVELAND (1-8) had a bad week that ended in a doubleheader loss to K.C.
Standings: Balt 58-29, Det 48-35, Clev 46-37, Cal 46-39, Minn 40-45, KC 39-46, Chi 38-47, Wash 39-49, NY 36-48, Bos 37-52
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
In 1964 Baltimore's John (Boog) Powell led the league in slugging (.606), hit 39 home runs, drove in 99 runs, batted .290 and was one of the key men in the Orioles' third-place finish. But in 1965 his hitting fell off so badly (17 homers, 72 RBIs, .248 BA) that he didn't recover until May 20, 1966. On that date he was batting only .180, with five homers and 14 RBIs. Then Boog began to go, and things started to bubble in Baltimore. In 56 games Powell batted .376 (jumping his season mark to .302), hit 14 home runs and accumulated 53 runs batted in. In one doubleheader he drove in 11 runs—four in the first game and seven of the eight runs Baltimore scored in the second. The Orioles moved into first place, and by All-Star time they had an eight-game lead over the second-place Detroit Tigers. A big factor in his improvement, according to Boog, was Baltimore Coach Gene Woodling. "Everybody was telling me how to move my hands or change my stance. Gene told me not to listen—just go up and swing the bat." Said Woodling, "Telling Powell how to hit would be like telling Rocky Marciano or Joe Louis how to punch." Powell, who used to be harassed constantly about his weight, is up to 248 pounds compared to 241 in the spring, but no one is complaining, not even when he eats strawberry shortcake. Baltimore fans chant, "Boo-oog!" when he's going good, "Boo-oo!" when he's going bad. "They have that 'g' back in there again," Powell says happily.