Paul Popovich hit .389 for CHICAGO in Don Kessinger's military-duty absence, then Kessinger, on a weekend pass, returned just in time to hit a game-winning double. NEW YORK'S Tug McGraw claimed he was going so badly that his reserve unit was trying to waive him, but the Mets got four home runs in three games from Tommie Agee and strong enough pitching to regain second place. PITTSBURGH'S Dock Ellis pitched the year's first no-hitter, against San Diego, while walking eight. Ellis, who last year refused to talk to reporters, confided to them after his gem, "In the fourth inning I told Dave Cash in the dugout, 'I've got a no-no going.' " Every inning thereafter Cash reminded him, "Remember, you're still no-no." Ellis said the pressure of the no-hitter was nothing compared to that of the Watts riot in 1965. His light-skinned mother, Ellis said, might not be alive today if his neighborhood nickname, Peanuts, had not been decaled on his car. "They thought she was white, and they were going to kill her," Ellis said. "She got in my car, and then they knew she was Peanuts' mother. The tanks were parked right outside our house. That was pressure." Bob Gibson of ST. LOUIS pulled his record up to 7-3 with his fifth straight win. PHILADELPHIA'S 38-year-old Jim Bunning won two games. "I wasn't buzzing the ball past anyone," admitted Bunning, "but I was getting good location." "He was getting super location," said Catcher Doc Edwards, the activated coach who continued to star—although he did allow two Braves to score when Bob Tillman ran over him at the plate. "It was simply a case of too much man for the grip I had on the ball," explained Edwards. MONTREAL remained last but popular. Two thousand fans greeted the Expos at the airport, and an average of nearly 20,000 attended the week's games.
CHI 32-23 NY 30-29 PITT 30-31 ST. L 26-30 PHIL 25-33 MONT 22-36
June 21, 1970
Cincinnati's Jim Merritt, after failing in his bid for a 12th victory, complained that he couldn't get warmed up properly because the visitors' bullpen mound at Montreal was flat while the one used by Montreal pitchers was regular size. It sounds like Expos Manager Gene Mauch is a handicapper. Rico Carty of ATLANTA spent three days below .400, causing a researcher to discover that June was death to .400 hitters. In the past 15 years only six men—Mickey Mantle in 1956, Ted Williams in 1957, Stan Musial and Willie Mays in 1958, Hank Aaron in 1959 and Billy Williams in 1964—have made a real run on .400. The six went into June hitting over that mark and came out of it, on the average, hitting 51 points lower. In fact, when Williams hit .406 in 1941 he had to hit .426 and .434 in July and August to overcome a .368 June. Bill Singer, out with hepatitis since April 23, started at last for LOS ANGELES Sunday, but gave up four runs in two innings. The Pirates had new words for the substance on the ball they accuse SAN FRANCISCO'S Gay-lord Perry of throwing. "It's a fast-drying surgical lubricant," said Pittsburgh First Base Coach Don Leppert. "It's colorless and odorless, that's what makes it tough to catch him." HOUSTON was fighting to stay out of the cellar, and Manager Harry Walker was fighting to stay in his job. SAN DIEGO fans found something to cheer about. They gave Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski an ovation for making a diving catch of a Padre line drive, to save the Ellis no-hitter.
CINN 44-17 LA 33-27 ATL 31-26 SF 28-32 HOUS 27-35 SD 28-37
Lukewarm BALTIMORE'S Merv Rettenmund was hitting lustily in his role as replacement for beaned Paul Blair, but the most welcome Oriole blow of the week was a less-than-ringing grounder that ticked off the California pitcher's glove, then the second baseman's, then was smothered by the shortstop. Said Mark Belanger, the stroker of this single, "I'll take the hit." It broke his 0-for-33 slump. Explaining why the defensively masterful Belanger was hitting .172 this year as opposed to .287 in '69, Manager Earl Weaver said, "Mark, as a regular, got his feet on the ground in 1968. In 1969 he adjusted to the pitchers. In 1970 the pitchers have adjusted to him. Mark has to adjust to the pitchers' adjustment." While Denny McLain declared bankruptcy, Willie Horton was keeping DETROIT more nearly solvent with performances such as a three-homer, seven-RBI night. Third base continued to be a problem in BOSTON. In desperation Manager Eddie Kasko tried Coach George Thomas there Saturday, and he helped beat the Twins with three hits. "Are the All-Star ballots in yet?" asked Thomas. WASHINGTON'S Aurelio Rodriguez hit his eighth homer since being traded to Ted Williams. Rodriguez had hit eight altogether in two previous seasons in the majors. Dick Bosnian was brought in to get one man out and gave up a grand-slam homer to Rich Reese of the Twins. "The poor s.o.b. was out emptying garbage cans at 6 this morning for the Army," said Williams. Duke Sims, whom CLEVELAND had just promoted to the cleanup spot, suffered a pulled calf muscle and a partially torn Achilles' tendon while jogging off the field.
BALT 39-21 NY 36-24 DET 29-27 BOST 27-28 WASH 28-30 CLEV 24-32
Minnesota went 2-3 for the Twins' worst week of the season, although Ron Perranoski earned his league-leading 14th save. CALIFORNIA improved its television record this year to 8-0 by beating Detroit Friday night on video. Jim Fregosi hit his third and fourth televised homers of the season and said, "I'm sorry I didn't ask for residual rights." Reliever Ken Tatum was ineffective earlier in the week against Baltimore when he appeared to be taking pains not to throw his normal fastball, which tails up and in. The last time he had faced the Orioles the fastball had tailed up and into Paul Blair's face. OAK-LAND acquired a fifth frontline outfielder in Steve Hovley, and maybe that was what Reggie Jackson needed. He drove in an 11th-inning run against Baltimore with a double Friday night and got three hits, one a homer, Saturday. CHICAGO got a shutout from Tommy John and, in general, looked a little better. KANSAS CITY through Sunday had given up 121 runs on homers and scored only 67 that way. "I can't believe they would put a livelier ball in play without telling the general managers," said Royal General Manager Cedric Tallis. Maybe they only told certain general managers. The MILWAUKEE Brewers, just two defeats away from the league record for consecutive road losses, ran into Cleveland. The Indians yielded to the Brewers 4-1, causing Milwaukee Manager Dave Bristol to observe, "Teams that die by the sword can also live by it."
MINN 36-18 CAL 35-24 OAK 33-27 CHI 22-38 KC 20-37 MIL 18-41