1961 May

2ndIn their first appearance in Minnesota, the Yankees top the transplanted Washington team, 6–4. Mantle’s grand slam in the 10th inning off Camilo Pascual, is the big blow. Luis Arroyo picks up the save after the Twins score 2. Mick’s extra inning grand slam is the 6th by a Yankee, joining Pipp (1923), Ruth (1925), Meusel (1929), and DiMaggio and Henrich (1948).

      Don Cardwell and the Cubs top the Giants, 9–4, though Willie McCovey’s 2-run homer in the 9th gives San Francisco a record-tying total of 14 homers in 3 games. Billy Williams paces the Chicago attack going 4-for-4, including a grand slam, and driving in 5 runs.

3rd  Another brilliant Warren Spahn performance is spoiled when LF Mel Roach’s misplay costs the Milwaukee ace a 2nd no-hitter in a row. He settles for a 2-hitter in topping the Dodgers 4–1.

      In an International League game at Toronto, the home town Maple Leafs score 10 runs in the 8th inning to win 15–3. Leaf switch hitter Ellis Burton homers twice in the big inning, once from each side of the plate.  His 2nd homer is a grand slam over the RF fence. Teammate Sparky Anderson scores on both HRs after reaching base on walks.

4thAt Crosley Field, Reds pitcher Joey Jay pitches a one-hitter to beat the Phils, 4–0. Johnny Callison’s 1st-inning single is the only hit.

      At County Stadium, Gil Hodges hits a solo homer in the 10th to give the Dodgers a 6-5 lead, but the Braves tie it on a single by Eddie Mathews and win it on a walkoff grand slam by Joe Adcock.

      The Phils send P Dick Farrell and SS Joe Koppe to the Dodgers for 3B Charlie Smith and OF Don Demeter. Demeter will give the Phils 3 solid years.

      Mantle homers and extends his hitting streak to 16 games, as the Yankees top the Twins, 5–2. New York sweeps all 3 games in Minnesota.

6th  In Cleveland, the Indians Woodie Held loses a first inning grand slam when rain washes out the game with the Senators after two innings.

7th  At LA’s Wrigley Field, the Angels draw their largest day crowd (19,722) and beat the Yankees, 5–3.  The Angels take two out of three from New York to drop the Yankees 2 1/2 games behind Detroit.

      The first-place Tigers sweep a pair from the White Sox, winning 8-6 and 5-3. In game 1, the Tigers come from behind with a 5-run 7th to overcome 6 RBIs by Roy Sievers. Sievers has a 2-run homer and a grand slam. Phil Regan goes the distance in game 2.

      In Minnesota, Chuck Schilling has a 2-run double and a grand slam as the Red Sox hold off the Twins, 11-9.  Harmon Killebrew has a pair of homers for the Twins.

      Trailing Milwaukee, 4-0 after 7 innings, the Reds unleash the fire power. They score 3 runs in the 8th on homers by Frank Robinson and Wally Post, and two more in the 9th, on homers by Leo Cardenas and Gordy Coleman, to win 5–4.

      The Phils outhit the Giants, but first place San Francisco wins, 7–0, behind Billy Loes. Three of the Giants six hits off Robin Roberts are HRs.

      The Indians and Senators split a pair, with Cleveland taking the opener, 4-2, behind rookie Wynn Hawkins.  Johnny Temple goes hitless in game 1, ending his 19-game-hitting streak from the start of the season. Temple ended last year with a 4-game streak, giving him a combined 23-game hit streak (as noted by Trent McCotter).

8th  The Angels trade P Tex Clevenger and OF Bob Cerv to the Yankees for P Ryne Duren, P Johnny James, and OF Lee Thomas. For Cerv, it is his 3rd tour of duty in pinstripes.

      The new NL entry is New York is officially named the “Mets.”  Not Metropolitans, just Mets. At a ceremony at the Savoy Hilton, owner Joan Payton swings a bottle of champagne and after three unsuccessful whacks turns the job over to a waiter who uses a bottle opener. The “Mets” was the choice among the 10 finalists: Continentals, Burros, Mets, Skyliners, Skyscrapers, Bees, Rebels, NYBs, Avengers, and Jets. The original list was 644 names from 9,613 suggestions.

9th  Jim Gentile of Baltimore becomes the 3rd player to hit grand slams in consecutive innings (Tony Lazzeri in 1936, Jim Tabor in 1939: Rudy York in 1946 also hit 2 grand slams, but not in consecutive innings) when he belts one off Pedro Ramos in the first and adds another off Paul Giel in the 2nd. His 8 RBI in consecutive innings sets a ML record. Gentile also tacks on a sacrifice fly to give him a club record 9 RBI in the 13–5 drubbing of the Twins.

      The Indians tie a ML record with just 23 official at bats as Chicago’s Herb Score pitches a 2-hit 4–2 win.

10th  The Cardinals tie a ML record when 3 pinch hitters—Charlie James, Don Taussig, and Alex Grammas—strike out in the 9th inning against the Reds. Cincinnati’s Bill Henry pitches just the 9th to save the 3–2 win, the Reds’ 9th in a row.

      The White Sox purchase Wes Covington from the Braves. Covington will play for 4 teams in 1961, before settling in with solid years for the Phillies.

      The Reds trade 2B Jim Baumer to the Tigers for 1B Dick Gernert.

      The Twins trade OF Ernie Oravetz and cash to the Dodgers for Joe Altobelli and Ed Palmquist. The 5’4” Oravetz hit .262 in 1955-56 for the Senators. Oravetz will see no more ML action, while the pair of Twins will play briefly.

      Mike McCormick fires his 2nd 3-hit shutout of the year, stopping the Pirates, 3–0.  The Giants are 3-up, 3-down in 8 of the 9 innings, but score 3 in the 5th, 2 on McCormick’s single.

11th  At Briggs Stadium, the Senators whip the first-place Tigers, 9-4, doing most of the damage in the 6-run 5th.  Billy Klaus hits a grand slam in the frame and, a batter later, Gene Woodling clouts a 2-run homer.

12th  Bill Monbouquette’s 17 strikeouts for the Red Sox are a club record and the most yet by an AL pitcher in a night game. He beats Washington 2–1.

      At Minnesota, Angels P Eli Grba hits a 5th-inning solo HR off P Pedro Ramos, who then returns the favor in bottom of the inning. Ramos wins 5–4.

      In the 8th inning at Yankee Stadium, Tiger OF Rocky Colavito goes into the stands behind 3B after a drunken fan who has been heckling Rocky’s wife and father. Colavito is ejected, but the Tigers win in the 9th on pitcher Frank Lary’s homer. For Lary, it is his 25th win over the Yankees against just 8 losses.

13th  Rocky Colavito returns to the Tigers lineup and rocks the Yankees with a 4–for-5 game, including two homers. The Tigers win, 8–3.

      Wondrous Willie Mays clouts 2 HRs, one a grand slam in the 3rdoff Buhl, to drive in 6 runs as the Giants whip the Braves, 8–5.

14th  Senators pinch hitters tie a ML record by drawing 3 walks in the 9th inning of the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Red Sox. The Nats edge Boston 2–1 to sweep. Joe McClain shuts out the Red Sox 3-0 in the lidlifter and also doubles and scores a run.

      The Yankees win a pair from Detroit, taking the opener with Jim Coates pitching the 11th inning for the win. Coates pitches another 5 innings of relief to win the nightcap as well.

      The Indians top the Orioles, 1–0, in 15 innings, scoring the lone run on a wild throw by 2B Jerry Adair.  Perry and Funk combine on the shutout. The Tribe completes the sweep with a 6–4 win in the nightcap.

15thThe Alou brothers and Cepeda lead an 18-hit attack as San Francisco overpowers the Cubs, 14–1. Dick Ellsworth gives up 6 runs in the 1st without retiring a batter. Cepeda hits 2 homers and a double and drives in 5 runs, while Felipe hits his first grand slam and brother Matty his first ML homer. Matty will combine with Jesus in 1965 to homer in the same game.  Mike McCormick is the easy winner.

17th  Rogers Maris connects for his 4th homer, and his first of the year at Yankee Stadium, against the Senators as Washington holds on to beat the Yankees, 8-7.  Roger will hit an incredible 24 homers in his next 38 games.

18th  Ryne Duren comes in for the Angels and notches 4 strikeouts in the 7th inning against the White Sox. He fans Minnie Minoso, Roy Sievers, J. C. Martin, and Sammy Esposito to tie the ML record. One pitch eludes C Del Rice and results in the winning run. Chicago takes it 6–4.

      Ray Kendrick ties the California League record with 19 strikeouts in Fresno’s 12–3 defeat of Stockton.

19th  In Minnesota, Dan Dobbek has a solo homer and a grand slam and Billy Gardner is 4-for-4 as the Twins roll by the A’s, 11-1.  Jack Kralick is the complete game winner.

20th  Ed Bouchee hits a game-ending homer in the 9th to break up a scoreless pitching duel between the Cubs Dick Ellsworth and the Cardinals Larry Jackson. The Cubs win 1-0 at Wrigley, their 2nd 1-0 win in a row. Bouchee also ties a ML fielding record when he handles 22 chances at 1B; 19 PO and 3 assists. Ellsworth allows 3 hits and throws 101 pitches.

21st  At Metropolitan Stadium, the Indians twice shutout the Twins, winning 9-0 and 2-0.  Wynne Hawkins allows 3 hits and Mudcat Grant just 2.

23rd  Norm Cash, Steve Boros, and Dick Brown hit consecutive HRs for the Tigers in a 5–2 win over Minnesota.

      At Chicago, Ernie Banks makes his debut in left field and goes 1-for-4 with no errors. But the Cubs lose, 2–1, in 10 innings to the Phillies.

27th  At Jacksonville in South Atlantic League, Benjamin Grills pitches 9 2/3 hitless innings, but loses, 1- to Greenville in 12 innings. He gives up only three hits.

28th  The Yanks lose the first game at home to Chicago, 14-9, as Wes Covington hits a grand slam for the Chisox and Bob Cerv answers in the 6th with a game-tying pinch grand slam. Floyd Robinson extends the Chicago lead when belts a 3-run homer in the 9th. The Yankees take the nightcap 5–3 with the help of a Roger Maris HR. Maris’s 9th HR of the season is one of 27 hit in today’s 7 AL games—a record. Twelve more in 4 NL games make a total of 39, a one-day ML record for 11 games in the 2 leagues.

      Ernie Banks clouts a 2-out grand slam in the bottom of the 8th to tie the Giants at 4–4, but 1st-place San Francisco wins over the Cubs, 6–5.

29th  At Fenway, Ike Delock outduels Whitey Ford to beat the Yankees, 2–1. New York’s scoring is Mantle’s first homer in two weeks.

30th  Third baseman Gene Freese hits 2 HRs, and Joey Jay and the Reds both win their 6th straight game, 8–7. Cincinnati completes a sweep of the Los Angeles, moving into a first-place tie with the Giants. Cincinnati will spend the rest of the season in first place.

Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, and Moose Skowron each belt 2 HRs, tying the ML record for most players (one club) with multiple HRs in a 9-inning game. Berra adds a homer as New York wins over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 12–3.

      The first place Tigers split with the visiting A’s, winning 5-3 before losing 9-3. Norm Cash belts an 8th inning grand slam in the opener as the Tigers come from behind.  Norm Siebern has a pair of homers and drives in 5 runs in the nightcap.

      The Indians sweep a pair from the Twins, winning, 4–3 and 7–5. They end Lenny Green’s 24-game hit streak in the opener. Cleveland scores the winning run in the opener on a bunt by Piersall, who reaches 2B on a wild throw by 1B Mincher. On a foul out, Piersall dashes for 3B, then scores on a sac fly.

      The Dodgers trade IF Bob Lillis and OF Carl Warwick to St. Louis for IF Daryl Spencer.

31st  Mantle and Maris again homer as New York edges Boston, 7–6. Mantle’s is #14, two ahead of Roger. In the 8th inning, Carroll Hardy pinch hits for rookie Carl Yastrzemski: last year he pinch hit for Ted Williams, making him the only player to go in for both future Hall of Famers.