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The Pittsburgh Pirates glided through the West and toward the pennant. Stopper Vernon Law halted a losing streak, but was stopped himself the next time out, bidding for his 20th. Al Dark played left field ("Sure, he's 38," said Manager Dressen, "but he gives you 100% all the time") as the Milwaukee Braves , with four straight wins, got set for the showdown series with the Pirates. Apprised that some Milwaukee players were blaming Dressen for their previous misfortunes, a former disciple, Don Zimmer of the Cubs, jumped to Charley's defense. "He's got a lot of baloney in him," Zimmer said, "but that doesn't make him a bad manager." Strong pennant contenders only a week ago, the St. Louis Cardinals began to slip away. Steady performances by Ray Sadecki, 19, and Ernie Broglio might yet save second place and a shot at Manager of the Year for Solly Hemus. The Los Angeles Dodgers blew their last chance against the Pirates, stumbled against the Giants, found themselves sinking close to the second division. Maury Wills stole his 37th base, Wally Moon flirted with .300 while the once-strong pitching collapsed. Mike McCormick, the Angry Young Man of the San Francisco Giants (they've given him only 10 runs in six games), shut out the Dodgers 1-0. McCormick had no complaints after seeing the other side of the coin: a home run and a sparkling catch by Felipe Alou. Vada Pinson hit three home runs for the Cincinnati Redlegs as the club floundered. Bob Purkey pitched well, but big busts Cal McLish (4-1)) and Joe Nuxhall (1-7) didn't. Said Nuxhall, who became a Redleg at 15, "A change of scenery might help." The Chicago Cubs , finding a new way to win (Pitcher Don Cardwell hit two home runs) and an old way to lose (the hidden ball trick), seemed safe in seventh. Rookie right-hander Art Mahaffey, who trains on lasagna, was responsible for last two Philadelphia Phillies' wins. "I used to weigh 156 pounds," says the 6-foot-2 Mahaffey. Then came lasagna, which Mahaffey loves. "It takes my wife a day and a half to make up the lasagna," he says, "and it's worth it." Mahaffey's weight: 190; his record: 5-0.
Standings: Pitt 80-50. Mil 73-56, StL 73-57, LA 68-60, SF 65-63, Cin 58-75, Chi 52-77, Phil 49-81
Sturdy young pitching, slick fielding and timely hitting put the Baltimore Orioles in first place and had the townfolk ignoring their beloved Colts. Flushed with success, Manager Richards bought a $25 pair of spiked shoes for each Oriole for the final surge. The New York Yankees couldn't score runs (not one in 36 innings), couldn't win and couldn't hold onto the top. Manager Stengel added flimsy-hitting Coach Jim Hegan, 40, to the active roster. "I might need a good receiver in the eighth inning sometime," explained Casey. Said Yogi Berra, rookie outfielder: "Now I'm the fourth-string catcher." Thrown back into contention, the Chicago White Sox counted on the favorable schedule (14 home games, 9 away) and the return of Minnie Minoso to batting form after a slump (three for 30). "The big thing for us to do," Manager Lopez said, "is to put together a winning streak—and we're overdue." The Washington Senators lost their first series in a month but hung on grimly to the first division. Manager Lavagetto deftly juggled an arm-weary staff, got a strong win from improving Don Lee, who inadvertently threw a nostalgic home run ball to Ted Williams. A younger, thinner Williams hit a couple off Lee's dad, Lefty Thornton Lee of the White Sox, 20 years before. The Cleveland Indians were moaning about what could have been. Woodie Held, out with a broken finger since July 18 when the Indians were a game and a half out of first, returned to the lineup with the Indians 15 out. He won two games with homers. Barry Latman, a 23-year-old cigar smoker, suddenly found his pitching control, won twice. Second-string pitchers Bob Bruce and Hank Aguirre bolstered the Detroit Tigers in a too-little, too-late effort. Tiger sore point: Jim Bunning and Paul Foytack, winners of 31 games last year, had 10 this season. Pete Runnels, runnerup to Boston Red Sox teammate Williams when he won batting championship two years ago, charged into second place with .322. Shortstop Don Buddin, beaned by Tigers' Bunning, is recovering, will be out two weeks. Said Bunning, who denied he was aiming at Buddin's head: "Why should I throw at him? I usually get him out anyway." Bud Daley (12-6 on July 6) slipped to 13-13 when he lost to the Yankees. Daley and his Kansas City Athletic teammates were spared unbearable embarrassment when their uniforms arrived just before game time. Accused often of being a Yankee farm, they might otherwise have had to wear Yankee uniforms in the game.
Standings: Balt 79-53. NY 75-53, Chi 75-56, Wash 66-65, Clev 64-65, Det 60-70, Bos 57-73, KC 45-86
Boxed statistics through Saturday, Sept. 3
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