1973 May

1st  With 2 outs in the 9th inning and Chris Speier on 1B, the Giants, trailing 8–1, score an NL-record tying 7 times to beat the Pirates 8–7. Chris Arnold’s pinch grand slam is the big blow, along with Bobby Bonds’ bases-loaded double to end it.

Brewers starter Bill Parsons walks the first three A’s batters and is lifted for Jim Colburn, who pitches a complete game, 4–3, win. Johnny Briggs drives in all the Milwaukee runs, including a home run in the 9th inning off Blue Moon Odom (0–5), to win it.

2nd  The Red Sox score 5 in the 2nd, 5 on a grand slam by Orlando Cepeda, and Boston wins over the Rangers, 6-2.

3rd  Al Oliver has 4 hits, including a pair of homers, one a grand slam, to pace the Pirates to a 14-5 pasting of the Giants at Candlestick. Oliver has 6 RBIs and Milt May adds 3 more on a 3-run homer.

Rusty Staub belts a 1st-inning grand slam for the Mets, but Larry Stahl connects for a 3-run pinch homer as the Reds score 6 in the 4th to beat the Mets, 6-5.

4th  The Phillies edge the Braves 4–3 in a 20-inning marathon. Dick Ruthven starts for the Phils and Jim Lonborg finally gets the win over Ron Reed.

6th  Lee May has a grand slam and 5 RBIs and Bob Watson collects 4 hits, including a 3-run homer as the Astros down the Mets, 14-8.

7th  Five solo HRs account for all of the Pirates scoring in a 5–4 win over the Dodgers.

8th  Cubs manager Whitey Lockman is ejected during a 12-inning 3–2 win over the Padres. Coach Ernie Banks fills in for the last few innings, technically becoming the ML’s first black manager. Cubs Bob Locker pitches in his 500th game: all have been in relief, a ML record.

For the second time in his career, Pirate Willie Stargell poles one out of Dodger Stadium. His blast off Andy Messersmith is over the 50-foot high RF pavilion roof 470 feet away. His first HR, a 506-foot shot, came off Alan Foster on August 5, 1969. No other player has hit one out of the stadium. LA wins, 7–4, despite a second homer by Stargell and one by Al Oliver. Ron Cey’s 3-run HR is the difference. Stargell leads the NL with 10 homers.

Davey Johnson hits a pair of homers, including a grand slam, in Atlanta’s 7-run 7th as the Braves beat the Mets, 10-6, at Shea.

In a 9–7 losing effort against the Giants, Cardinals ace Bob Gibson makes his 242nd consecutive start. It is a new 20th century record passing that of Red Ruffing, who never pitched in relief the last 10 years of his career.

Former P Ralph Miller dies in Cincinnati at age 100. Miller was the last survivor of 19th-century ball, and the first former ML player to reach the century mark.

9th  The Reds Johnny Bench slugs 3 HRs and knocks in 7 runs in a 9–7 defeat of Steve Carlton and the Phillies. Bench homers in the 1st, walks in the 3rd, and homers again in the 5th and 7th. It is the second time Bench has hit 3 HRs in a game against Carlton; the first came on July 26, 1970. Bench ties a ML record with 4 consecutive homers, having hit one in his final at bat last night in the Reds 7–1 win. Despite the 3 homers, Dave Concepcion’s 2-run homer in the 9th, off Barry Lersch, is the game-winner.

Al Bumbry and Rich Coggins hit their first major league homers, slugging them back-to-back off the A’s Catfish Hunter. The A’s still win, 4–3.

13th  In the first of two, the Yankees tie a ML record by hitting 4 HRs in a shutout game in which no other runs are scored. The mark was originally set by Cleveland on August 2, 1956. White, Murcer, Blomberg and Nettles hit solos in the  4-0 win over Baltimore. Mel Stottlemyre is the winner. The Yanks jump on Dave McNally for 5 runs in game 2 but score zero when Eddie Watts relieves him for 4 IP.  Baltimore wins, 9-6.

At Fenway, Carl Yastrzemski has a double and 2 homers and Tommy Harper adds a grand slam in Boston’s 8-3 win over Cleveland.

15th  California’s Nolan Ryan strikes out 12, including the side in the 1st,  and hurls his first career no-hitter in beating Kansas City 3–0. For C Jeff Torborg, it is his 3rd no-hitter. SS Rudy Meoli preserves the no-no with a spectacular over the shoulder catch in the 8th.

Milwaukee beats the Indians 2–1 on Dave May’s HR in the bottom of the 17th inning.  It is May’s 10th HR of the season, one more than he had in 1972.

17th  Angels OF Bobby Valentine suffers a multiple fracture of his leg trying to scale a CF wall to prevent a Dick Green 3-run during a 5–0 loss to the A’s. Valentine, hitting .302, will return to play but in utility roles.  Catfish Hunter throws the shutout for the A’s.

18th  During a 5–4 win over the Royals, the A’s Bill North punches Kansas City rookie Doug Bird, earning a 3-day league suspension. In the bottom of the 8th, North swings and misses Bird’s first pitch and his bat sails out near the mound.  When North went to retrieve his bat, he swings and drops Bird with a right hand punch, earning the suspension. According to North, this was payback for a 1970 minor league game where, after giving up successive homers, Bird first knocked down then hit North with a pitch.

19th  Philadelphia’s Ken Brett holds Chicago’s Glenn Beckert hitless in the first game, a 3–0 win, of a doubleheader, ending his 26-game hitting streak. Chicago takes the nightcap, 7–6.

In what is considered one of the worst trades in Braves history, Atlanta sends 23-year-old Andre Thornton to the Cubs for 1B Joe Pepitone. Pepi will go to bat just 11 times for the Braves and never play again.

20th  In a 5-player deal, Angels 1B Jim Spencer and Rangers 1B Mike Epstein switch teams.

In Cleveland, Sparky Lyle earns two saves as the Yankees sweep the Indians, 4-2 and 7-3.  In the second game, Jim Ray Hart hits a 4th inning 2-run homer and Roy White belts a grand slam as New York scores 7 times in the frame.

23rd  In Minnesota, Lou Piniella hits a 3rd inning grand slam off Jim Kaat, but the Twins rally to beat the Royals, 8-6.

24th  The Dodgers Willie Davis gets 6 hits, the Mets Rusty Staub 5, during a 19-inning game. The Mets win 7–3. The two teams combine to ground into 9 double plays, a NL record.

The Twins Bert Blyleven one hits the Royals to win, 2–0.  Ed Kirkpatrick’s bunt single in the 5th is the only hit.

25th  At Dodger Stadium, Willie Crawford’s grand slam, off John Matlack, is the difference as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 6-4.

The Giants activate 43-year-old coach Don McMahon as pitcher. McMahon will go 4–0 with 6 saves and a 1.50 ERA the rest of the season, before being released October 9th.

In an 8-3 loss to the Indians, the White Sox lose Ken Henderson when he slides clumsily into home and tears knee ligaments that will sideline him until July 1. Henderson is hitting .311, but when he returns his average will slump to .260 by season’s end.

26th  The White Sox and Cleveland game is suspended after 16 innings with the score at 2-2.  Stan Bahnsen and Gaylord Perry each pitch the first 13 innings. The game will be completed on the 28th.

27th  The Padres announce the impending sale of the club to a group that plans to move the team to Washington, DC in 1974.

28th  Chicago’s rubber-armed knuckleballer Wilbur Wood wins the completion of a suspended game, allowing 2 hits and an unearned run in 5 innings, winning 6-3 on Dick Allen’s 3-run homerun in the 21st. Wood then shuts down Cleveland on 4 hits in the regularly scheduled contest. After the White Sox’ first 40 games, Wood’s record is a remarkable 13-3.

At Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers’ Andy Messersmith strikes out the 1st six Phillies’ batters.  The Phils still win 5–1.

31st  Against Houston, Cubs pitcher Fergie Jenkins gives up HR to Jesus Alou, but holds on as the Cubs win, 16–8. Dave Roberts takes the loss. The tally of Alou family homers off Jenkins is as follows: Jesus homered on July 7th and 23rd, 1967 while with the Giants:  Felipe homered on April 25, 1968 as a Brave; Matty hit a homer on Sept. 5, 1971 while with the Cards.