"We took him apart piece by piece until we found out what the trouble was," said CLEVELAND (2-5) Pitching Coach Early Wynn in describing a reclamation project which restored Reliever Dick Radatz to some of his former usefulness. In late August the rebuilt Radatz struck out 11 men in one five-inning span. But last week a couple of bolts apparently were out of place again, and Radatz, winless all year, was ineffective twice and lost for the fifth time. Sam McDowell was also back in the repair shop. He went into the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead over the Orioles, then complained of arm trouble. Luis Tiant took over, and Frank Robinson hit his first pitch for a two-run homer to give sagging BALTIMORE (2-4) a much-needed win. The Orioles, losers in 10 of 15 games, had only three robust starters, and two of them—Dave McNally and Jim Palmer—were racked for 23 hits and a dozen runs in 13‚Öî innings. Even the usually reliable bullpen failed. Stu Miller hit two batters in a row in the 11th to force across a run and give CHICAGO (4-3) a 9-8 victory. Tommie Agee (.346) had five RBIs in that game and also was responsible for three other wins. His two-run homer made Tommy John a 2-0 winner. In a doubleheader sweep against the Tigers, Agee had seven hits. He scored the winning run in the 12th inning of the first game when he singled and then came all the way around after a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. John (Blue Moon) Odom of KANSAS CITY (3-3), who earlier in the season had not lasted two innings against the Yankees, this time pitched a one-hitter against them. Mike McCormick of WASHINGTON (1-5) held the A's to four singles as he pitched his second straight shutout. DETROIT (6-2) kept its slim pennant hopes alive by hitting 18 home runs, four of them by Willie Horton, who also drove in 11 runs. Denny McLain won twice, though he needed 229 pitches to stop the Orioles 6-3 in one game. The intentional walk is supposed to be a defensive move, but MINNESOTA (5-1) built its offense around four of them. Four intentional walks to Twin batters in two games were followed by a three-run homer by Bernie Allen, a single by Rich Rollins, a three-run double by Earl Battey and a game-winning single by Ted Uhlaender. Joe Adcock's pair of two-run homers gave CALIFORNIA (3-3) two victories. What little comfort NEW YORK (3-4) had came from rookie Dooley Womack, who stretched his string of scoreless innings to 26 in 13 relief jobs. Both New York and BOSTON (3-2) players were victims of California night games on getaway days. After arriving in Minnesota from California at 9 a.m., the Yankees stumbled through an 8-5 loss to the Twins. The Red Sox, after their night game in Anaheim, caught a 5 a.m. flight. They got to Minnesota at 3 p.m. and went right to the clubhouse to sleep on stacks of towels. Bleary-eyed, they lost 11-2 and were rewarded with a midnight flight on to Kansas City. Fine schedule.
Standings: Balt 84-51, Det 75-61, Minn 74-64, Chi 72-67, Clev 70-68, Cal 69-67, NY 62-76, Wash 62-78, Bos 61-79, KC 60-78
The doubtable Mets of NEW YORK (3-3), knowing they were to face the league's three top winners on successive days, didn't flinch. They took care of Sandy Koufax 10-4 and, after a 2-1 loss to Juan Marichal, came back behind Pitcher Dennis Ribant to win 2-1 over Gaylord Perry of SAN FRANCISCO (2-4). That was the first of three straight one-run losses for the Giants, who dropped out of a tie for first place with PITTSBURGH (4-2). Roberto Clemente had nine RBIs, giving him 103 this year, and also picked up the 2,000th hit of his career. To opposing pitchers it seemed that the Pirates got almost that many hits daily as they alternately beat out infield nubbers and blasted extra-base hits. The Pirates had 16 hits in one game, 14 in two others. Clay Carroll didn't allow a run in 8‚Öì innings of relief as he won twice for ATLANTA (5-3). Eddie Mathews (.476, 3 HRs) and Felipe Alou (.460) produced runs en masse. Mike Cuellar's 2-0 shutout of the Pirates was the sixth win in a row for HOUSTON (1-7), which then dropped seven straight. ST. LOUIS (3-3) followed a four-game losing streak with three victories. Deron Johnson backed up Joe Nuxhall's shutout pitching with two homers one day, Pete Rose (.444) added two the next and the day after that both Art Shamsky and Gordy Coleman had three-run homers as CINCINNATI (3-3) rounded out an eight-game winning streak. Then the home runs gave out, and so did the Reds. There seemed to be no end to Richie Allen's productivity, and his four homers and .464 batting kept PHILADELPHIA (5-1) in pennant contention. In May, Don Kessinger of CHICAGO (3-3) was hitting barely .200. Willing to try anything, Kessinger, who normally bats from the right side, became a switch hitter. Since then he has batted .280 and last week hit .346. LOS ANGELES (3-3) had to get along without Shortstop Maury Wills, who aggravated a leg injury by simply bending down. A fan wrote to Sandy Koufax, advising him that the best way to cure his ailing arm was to rub brake fluid on it. Koufax stuck to ice water and liniment and recovered from his loss to the Mets by defeating the Reds 7-3.
Standings: Pitt 80-56, LA 77-57, SF 78-58, Phil 74-64, StL 70-66, Cin 68-68, Atl 67-69, Hou 61-77, NY 59-78, Chi 47-88
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
"Lots of times I talk to myself when I go up to bat," says Oriole Outfielder Frank Robinson. "I tell myself, 'Make sure it's a good pitch,' and things like that. Nothing fancy." It is opposing pitchers who really have been talking to themselves. They've been mumbling all season long that Robinson, who leads the American League in hitting and home runs and has been flirting with the lead in RBIs, can't possibly keep up the pace. Last week, 140 days after the season began, Frank was still out there, driving for the Triple Crown. The pitchers were tense, but Robinson was relaxed. He ranks among the league leaders in clubhouse towel throwing and in giving hotfoots. When Multimillionaire Jerry Hoffberger, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, complained that his shoes had become scuffed, Robinson flipped him a quarter and said, "Here, get yourself a shine." He calls his massive teammate, 240-pound First Baseman Boog Powell, "Crisco" and in return is called "Pencils," a salute to the thin sticks that hold up his sinewy torso. In explaining the reasons for his success this season, Robinson principally credits his ability to stay loose. "I don't try to be relaxed," he says, "I just am." About the only thing that makes him uneasy, he adds, is his Baltimore radio show, a five-minute analysis of the day's game. "It's odd being the hero and to have to talk about yourself," he explains. "Sometimes I just leave myself out."