1969 May

1st Houston, no-hit the day before by Cincinnati, answers back, as Don Wilson pitches a 4–0 no-hitter, with 13 strikeouts over the Reds. Houston ties an NL record with just one assist. In Wilson’s previous start against Cincinnati, on April 22, he gave up 6 runs in 5 innings in a 14–0 loss.  The win today gives the last-place Astros a 5-20 record; they will go 16-6 in May.

      Don Sutton allows just one hit, a double by Jim Davenport, as the Dodgers defeat the Giants, 5-0. Sutton has a pair of hits and a sac bunt.

2nd  Al Lopez (840-650) resigns as White Sox manager for health reasons. Don Gutteridge takes over. The Sox will lose tomorrow, 3–1, to the Twins in Gutteridge’s first game as skipper.

      At Atlanta Stadium, the Braves score in the 6th, 7thand 8thinnings to beat the Dodgers, 7-4.  Hank Aaron has a 2-run homer and Rico Carty has a sac fly in his first at bat in more than a year. He is making his first appearance after missing the 1968 season because of tuberculosis, the same ailment that sidelined the Braves Red Schoendienst for the 1959 season. Carty spent 5 months in a sanatorium.

      Al Ferrara hits a pinch grand slam in the 4th for the Padres as they beat the Reds, 8-5.

      Dick Bosman pitches a one-hitter and drives in 2 runs as the Senators beat the Indians, 5-0. Luis Tiant (0-5) takes the loss. Tony Horton’s single in the 2nd is the lone hit. 

3rd  The Padres score 9 runs in the 1st inning to make it easy for newly acquired pitcher Joe Niekro to pick up his first win of the year. The Pads win, 13-5 over the Reds.  Ollie Brown hits San Diego’s second grand slam in two games.

4th  The Astros tie a ML record with 7 DPs in a 3–1 win against the Giants. Curt Blefary sets a record for 1B by participating in all 7.  Second baseman Joe Morgan is part of 5 double plays to tie a NL mark, and SS Denis Menke ties a ML record of 5.

      At Oakland the Pilots and the A’s split a doubleheader, with Seattle prevailing in game 1, 6-4.  Blue Moon Odom (5-1) pitches 6 innings in the nightcap, allowing 4 runs, as the A’s win 11-7. Odom does more damage with his bat, going 3-for-3 with a double and homer and drives in 6 runs.  Reggie Jackson adds a pair of solo homers, and Sal Bando a 2-run homer.

      Bob Oliver goes 6-for-6 (4 singles, a double and a HR), as the Royals coast over California 15–1. Every KC starter collects a hit and scores a run. Initially, Oliver was 5-for-6 but after the game the official scorer changes an error call to a hit.

      In a Carolina League at Raleigh, Gorden Knutson of Raleigh-Durham pitches 10 hitless innings against Lynchburg. He gives up 2 hits in 11 innings of work as Lynchburg wins, 1-0, in 13 innings.

5th  The Baseball Records Committee reverses its earlier decision and decides to stay with the pre-1920 rules on sudden death home runs. This rule stated that a team batting last in the 9th or in extra innings could not win by more than one run. Before 1920 if a player hit an outside-the-park home run with a runner(s) on base, he was not credited with a home run. Babe Ruth (July 8, 1918) and 36 other players “lost” HRs because of the ruling reversal.

8th  In the only ML game of the day, Houston outlasts the Phils to win, 9-7, scoring 3 runs in each of the last two frames. Dick Allen has a grand slam and 5 RBIs for the Quakers.

10thIn Seattle, the Senators score a run in the 6th to take an 11-3 lead over the Pilots, but after Camilo Pascual gives up a homer and single, he is lifted for Dave Baldwin.  Baldwin walks three to force in a run and then serves up a grand slam to Rich Rollins as Seattle plates 8 to tie.  Seattle scores 4 in the bottom of the 8th to ice the game, 16-13; They’ll only have two more games this season where they score as many as 10 runs.

      Rick Monday hits his second grand slam in 10 days to account for all the runs as Oakland beats the Yankees, 4-3. Blue Moon Odom (6-1) was the recipient of Monday’s last slam. Oakland is now a game behind the Twins in the AL West.

      In Montreal, Mack Jones socks a first-inning grand slam and the Expos hold on for a 7-6 win over the Reds.  Dan McGinn wins in relief. Reds pitchers have served up three salamis this month.

      Roberto Pena is 4-for-4, including a grand slam, off Steve Carlton, as the Padres beat the host Cardinals, 5-3. Johnny Podres is the winner.

11thFrank Howard hits two homers for the Senators but Don Mincher hits one in the bottom of the 9th for a 6-5 Pilots victory.  Diego Segui gets a win for the second straight day. Yesterday the Pilots beat the Senators, 16-13, on 12 hits and 12 walks.

12th  Cardinal Bob Gibson becomes the 7th NL pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches. He does it in the 7th inning of a 6–2 St. Louis win over the Dodgers. Backing up his words, Gibson also chips in with 3 hits. On May 1, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Hitting is the only fun left in the game. The rest of it is work. I don’t know why they wanted to take the fun away with those designated pinch-hitters for the pitchers. If a guy wants to take my place at bat, he’s going to have to fight me.”

13th  Cubs 1B Ernie Banks has 7 RBI—including his 1,500th—on 2 3-run homers and a double in Chicago’s 19–0 blowout against San Diego, matching the biggest shutout margin in modern NL history. Cubs pitcher Dick Selma is the recipient, allowing just 3 hits, while Dick Kelley takes the loss. The Pads swapped Selma earlier in the season and he gives the Cubs their 3rd shutout in a row. Banks, Williams and Randy Hundley leave after Oliver’s HR in the 6th makes it 14–0, and Don Young caps a 5-run 7th with a 3-run homer.  Selma’s shutout follows consecutive shutouts by Jenkins and Holtzman.

      With 19,072 fans on hand, the largest Seattle crowd of the season, the Pilots beat the Yankees, 5–3.

14th  Orioles center fielder Paul Blair hits two homers and then makes a sensational catch in the 9th inning to rob Rod Carew of a hit.  The Birds win, 9–8.

California and Chicago swap second basemen as Sandy Alomar goes to the Angels and Bobby Knoop to the Sox. P Bob Priddy also goes to California.

      At Shea, the Mets score 8 runs in the 8th to beat the Braves, 9-3.  Starter Tom Seaver is the winner and benefits from a Cleon Jones grand slam. Jones drives in 5 runs.

15th  Willie Horton leaves the Detroit bench during a 2–1 win against Chicago and goes AWOL for 4 days.

      With one out in the 9th, Cesar Tovar lines a single to stop the no-hit bid of Baltimore’s Dave McNally. The O’s lefty ends with a one hit, 5–0, win over the Twins.

16th  In the highest-scoring 11th inning ever, Seattle scores 6 runs, then allows 5, but hangs on for a 10–9 win at Boston. Jim Bouton gets the win with 3 shutout innings. Brad Comer has a pair of homers, including one in the 11th. Kenworthy adds a homer in the 11th and Petrocelli goes deep in the 11th for the Sox.

      Despite five home runs—3 by Mike Epstein—the Senators lose the White Sox, 7–6. Carlos May’s 10th homer of the year breaks a 6–6 deadlock.

17th  Jerry Nyman’s first win of the year for the White Sox is a beauty, a one-hit 6-0 shutout of the Washington Senators. Cesar Tovar’s 2nd inning single is the lone hit.  Nyman drives in 3 runs as well.

18th  Rod Carew steals 2B, 3B, and home in the 3rd inning of Minnesota’s 8–2 loss to Detroit. Cesar Tovar also steals 3rd and home ahead of Carew, and the 2 steals of home in an inning ties a ML record. Tovar pays a price when Mickey Lolich hits him in the head with a pitch in his next at bat.

       Pepitone is the Yankees offense today as the Yanks sweep the Angels, 3-1 and 1-0. Pep hits a 3-run homer in game 1 to give Mel Stottlemyre the victory and his game-ending homer in the nightcap off Hoyt Wilhelm hands the victory to reliever Steve Hamilton.

      At Fenway, Mike Marshall goes 8 2/3 innings, then gets relief help, as Seattle holds on for a 9-6 win over the Red Sox at Fenway.  Yastrzemski’s grand slam knocks Marshall out in a 5-run 9th.

20th  At Los Angeles, the first-place Cubs beat the Dodgers Don Sutton, 7–0. Ken Holtzman is the winner for the second time in two weeks. Chicago hands Sutton his 12th loss in a row against them.

21st Tom Seaver blanks the Braves, 5–0, to even the Mets’ record at 18–18.

      Bob Moose allows 5 hits in an 11-1 Pittsburgh win over the Padres. Al Oliver cracks a grand slam as part of a 15-hit attack.

23rd  Mickey Lolich sets a Detroit record with 16 strikeouts while defeating Andy Messersmith and the Angels, 6–3. Mickey Stanley’s grand slam is the difference as the Haloes lose their 8thstraight. Lolich’s mark breaks the record of 15 set by Paul Foytack in 1956.

      Tommy Helms hits a bases-loaded double in the 8thinning, to kick Dan McGinn and the Expos, 4-3. It is Montreal’s 8thstraight loss and their 10thin 11 games.  It’ll get worse.

      Pittsburgh’s rookie 1B Al Oliver ties the ML record with 3 errors in one inning, and the Bucs lose, 3–0, at San Francisco.

      Houston’s 21-year-old Tom Griffin strikes out 13 Mets to win, 7-0. He also drives in 3 runs for the Astros.

      In a 3-1 loss to the Yankees and Mel Stottlemyre, a call to the bullpen by Billy Martin of the Twins in the 7thresults in an error.  When the bullpen cart arrives, it has rookie Jerry Crider in it, not veteran Bob Miller. Martin confers with the umps, and Crider returns to the bullpen to be replaced by Miller. Yankee skipper Houk argues that Miller should not be allowed to come in and that it was a ploy by Martin to give the righty extra time to warm up (as noted by Stew Thornley). With Stottlemyre’s sinker working, the Yanks rack up 22 assists, 5 short of the AL mark.

24th  Padres rookie 2B John Sipin debuts with a pair of triples, only the 4th player to do so, in a 7–5 San Diego loss to the Cubs. They are the only triples of his 68-game career. Sipin bangs his three-baggers in the 1st and 4th innings, off Ken Holtzman. Ron Santo has a 2-run homer for Chicago and Ernie Banks hits a grand slam.

      At Comiskey, Gary Peters allows 5 hits in 9 innings as the White Sox top the Red Sox, 9-3. Bill Melton hits a grand slam for Chicago, one of 3 homers they hit.      

25th  The Cardinals tie a NL record with just one assist in Bob Gibson’s 4–0 win at Los Angeles.

      The Pirates sweep a pair from the Giants as Jim Bunning wins his 200th game in the opener. Bunning strikes out 8 in winning, 2–1 over Perry.  Mazeroski and Taylor hit homers in the nightcap to back Bob Moose’s 6–2 win. Taylor’s is his first ML HR.

      In the first of two at San Diego, the Padres hit three homers, including a grand slam by Nate Colbert, to beat the Cubs, 10-2. Johnny Podres is the winner. The bats go silent in game 2 as Bill Hands and Ted Abernathy (4-0) combine on a 3-hit shutout, 1-0.  Ron Santo’s homer in the 9th off Joe Niekro is the only score. The Cubs lead the NL East by 6 games over the Pirates.

26th  Bill Rigney is fired as manager of the Angels, and coach Lefty Phillips is named to succeed him.

27th  Doug Rader hits a walkoff grand slam with no outs in the 9th to give the Astros a 6-2 victory over the Phillies. Don Wilson is the winner over Bill Wilson.

28th  In a 7–6 win over Pittsburgh, NL HR leader Lee May of the Reds hits a pair, garnering a ML-record-tying 6 in 3 straight games (at least one in each). He hit a pair in both the games against the Expos on the 24th and 25th.

      At Candlestick, Randy Hundley has 3 hits, including a grand slam in the 7-run 3rd, and drives in 5 runs as the Cubs edge the Giants, 9-8. Ken Holtzman gives up 7 runs in 5 innings but runs his record to 8-1. The Cubs lead is 6.5 games in the NL East, while the Giants are in 3rd place in the West.

29thWith the Braves drubbing the Mets, 12–0, manager Lum Harris lifts Hank Aaron for another Lum—Mike Lum. Lum hits a pinch double off Al Jackson and takes over in LF as the Braves coast to a 15–3 win. It is the 3rd time in his career that Aaron has been lifted for a pinch hitter.

30thReds pitcher Clay Carroll pitches 3 innings of hitless relief and belts a 10th inning home run off Bob Gibson to win at St. Louis, 4–3.  It is Carroll’s only career homer.

      John Sipin hits a leadoff homer in the 10th inning, his first ML HR, to give the Padres a 3–2 win over the Expos. It’s the Expos 14th straight loss.

      In the first of 2, Cleveland scores 8 runs, 4 on a grand slam by Jose Cardenal, in the 1st inning and roll to a 9-2 win over Oakland.  Starter Rollie Fingers gives up 6 runs while recording one out.  Luis Tiant wins his first after 7 losses. In game 2, George Lauzerique wins his first ML game, 5-1, as Reggie Jackson belts a pair of homers and Bert Campaneris has 3 hits, including a HR, and drives in 3 runs.

31st  The Expos collect just 5 hits off San Diego’s Joe Niekro, losing 6–2, for their 15th straight loss. Ferrara leads the Padres with a pair of 2-run homers, while Coco Laboy homers in the 7th for the Expos only runs.

      Detroit’s Joe Sparma loses his no-hitter against Seattle when Don Mincher doubles with one out in the 9th for Seattle’s only hit. Detroit wins, 3-2.