1st The Pirates start what is believed to be the first all-black lineup (including several Latinos) in ML history, in a 10–7 win over the Phillies. The lineup: Rennie Stennett, 2B; Gene Clines, CF; Roberto Clemente, RF; Willie Stargell, LF; Manny Sanguillen, C; Dave Cash, 3B; Al Oliver, 1B; Jackie Hernandez, SS; and Dock Ellis, P. Another black player, Bob Veale, was one of 3 relievers in the game.
At Wrigley, pitcher Fergie Jenkins leads the Cubs to a 5–2 win over Montreal by clouting two home runs and driving in 3 runs. Bill Stoneman takes the loss. Jenkins will add two more homers in September to give himself 6, tying the franchise mark for pitchers set in 1894 by “Wild Bill” Hutchinson. Zambrano will match it in 2006.
2nd Cesar Cedeno’s 200-foot ﬂy ball falls for a grand slam, following a collision of the Dodgers second baseman and right fielder. The Astros win, 9–3.
Siebert hits and pitches the Red Sox to a 3–0 win over the Orioles. Siebert hits 2 HRs, the last AL pitcher to do so.
Royals P Ron Theobold pitches a one-hitter against the Brewers but still loses 1–0, as Milwaukee scores a 2nd inning run without a hit. Marty Pattin pitches his 5th shutout of the season.
3rd Harmon Killebrew’s 6th-inning pinch grand slam snaps a 4-4 tie and the Twins down the A’s, 9-4, in the opener of two. George Mitterwald belts a walkoff homer in the 9th off Blue Moon Odom in game 2 as the Twins sweep, 2-1. The A’s have a comfortable 15 1/2 game lead in the AL West.
Owner Phil Wrigley takes out newspaper ads criticizing the Cubs players who want to dump manager Leo Durocher. A postscript adds, “If we could only find more team players like Ernie Banks.” Banks will play his last game on September 26th.
4th In Los Angeles, the Reds lose to the Dodgers, 2–1, and almost lose SS Woody Woodward. A 10-pound sack of flour dropped from a passing airplane, explodes 15 feet from where Woodward is positioned in the 9th inning.
5th Astros pitcher J. R. Richard makes his ML debut, striking out 15 Giants in a 5–3 win.
The Tigers tie a ML record by using 6 pinch hitters in the 7th inning, but lose 6–5 to the Yankees anyway.
Cardinal pitcher Jerry Reuss is a winner, 12–5, in a duel with Chicago’s Fergie Jenkins. Jenkins gives up HR to Matty Alou in the contest and now all 3 Alou brothers have hit dingers off him.
6th Boston uses two entirely different 10-man lineups in a doubleheader with New York, but neither succeeds. The Yankees prevail 5–3 and 3–0.
The Cards tip the Phillies, 2–1, as Lou Brock steals 4 bases. It is the second time that Brock has swiped 4 in one game: he’ll do it once more.
Baltimore breaks a 5-5 tie in the 8th with a 5 run inning, highlighted by a grand slam off the bat of Boog Powell, to beat the Indians, 10-5, in the opener. Vince Colbert fires 8 shutout innings in game 2 to give Cleveland a 1-0 victory. Dave Leonhard takes the loss. The split leaves to O’s 9.5 games ahead of Detroit.
The first-place Pirates sweep a pair from the Cubs, winning the opener, 4-1, on a 3-hitter by Nelson Briles (6-3). Pittsburgh slugs its way to a 10-5 win in game 2 as Willie Stargell belts his 44th homer, a grand slam.
7th Kansas City’s Amos Otis collects 4 hits and a team record 5 stolen bases in a 4–3 win over Milwaukee. Darrell Porter’s wild throw on a steal allows Otis to score the winning run.
Jim Northrup goes 5-for-5 with 2 homers in a 3–2, 11-inning Tiger win over Washington.
In the resumption of the August 1 protested game, the Cards and Phils resume play with the Cards leading in the 12th, 6–3, with 2 runners on. Stranding the runners, the Phils then rally for 3 runs to tie, but St. Louis scores another 3 in the 13th to win, 9–6. Stan Williams wins his first NL game since 1962. The Cards then take the regularly scheduled game, 7–5, in 10 innings.
The Angels top the Brewers, 3-2, in 12 innings when rookie Billy Parker hits a walkoff homer in his debut game. He is the first rookie to perform the feat. Josh Bard (2002) and Miguel Cabrera (2003) will next do it. Parker will hit just two more homers.
8th The Brewers and Royals each score 6 runs in the 6th, but Milwaukee scored in the 4th and wins, 7-6. Jose Cardenal has a grand slam for the Brewers.
10th Pitching like his cousin, Christy Mathewson, Houston’s Jack Billingham scores his 2nd straight 1–0 victory, beating Cincinnati 5 days after victimizing San Francisco. He allows 2 hits.
11th At Wrigley Field, the Cubs Juan Pizarro beats the visiting Cardinals, 7–0, with help from Paul Popovich, who clubs his first ML grand slam.
12th Bobby Bonds has a single, double and homer to drive in 3 runs as the Giants beat the Braves, 6-1, behind John Cumberland (9-4). For the sixth time this year, Willie Mays draws three walks. He’ll lead the NL with 112, the only time in his career he’s topped the 100-walk mark, and will record a league and career-high .425 OBP.
13th Frank Robinson of the Orioles homers in each game of a doubleheader split with Detroit, becoming the 11th member of the 500-HR club with his 2nd shot. The O’s win the opener, 9–1, behind Dave McNally’s 13th consecutive win. The Tigers use 17 hits to win the nightcap, 10–5, for Scherman, who pitches 8 2/3 innings in relief of Joe Niekro.
14th The Dodgers beat the first-place Giants 6–5 to climb within one game of first place in the NL Western Division. Bobby Bonds has 2 homers for SF, but Manny Mota’s pinch hit double in the 9th drives in 3 runs.
After Vince Colbert wins the opener for Cleveland, 3-1, on a 4-hitter, the Senators and Indians battle to a 5-5 tie, suspended after 16 innings. The game will be completed on September 20th, with Denny McLain notching the 8-6 20-inning win. The Nats score 3 unearned runs on a hit in the top of the frame after the Indians plate a run; the 4 runs in the 20th is a record. Each team uses 9 pitchers as they combine to hand out a record 30 walks.
15th At Shea Stadium, Mike Jorgenson hits a 2-out single in the 7th to break Burt Hooton’s no hit bid, and Ken Singleton follows with a homer to tie the match at 2–2. But Billy Williams clocks a pinch homer in the 9th and Hooton finishes the 3–2 victory with 15 strikeouts, notching his first ML win. In opener of the twi-night DH, Bill Hands beats Jerry Koosman, 6–2. Hands starts the Cubs’ scoring with a 2-run single in the 2nd.
At Houston, the Braves win, 4–2, as Aaron belts his 44th homer of the year. The RBI is his 1,954th, tying him with Ty Cobb for 3rd place on the all-time list. In the 9th inning, Larry Yount is announced as the new pitcher for Houston. While taking his warm-up pitches, Yount injures his arm and must be replaced in what proves to be his only ML appearance. Larry’s brother Robin will begin a more successful ML career in 1974.
The Giants suffer their 3rd straight loss and their 10th in 11 games, losing to the Reds, 4–2. But the Giants maintain their 1-game lead in the West.
16thAt New York, lefty Juan Pizarro shuts out the Mets and Tom Seaver, 1–0. Pizarro does it all, clubbing a solo homer to win his own game. It’s Pizarro’s 2nd shutout in a row and Seaver’s first loss after 7 straight wins. Tom’s last loss was August 1, also to Pizarro.
At Candlestick, George Foster hits an 8th inning grand slam to pace the Reds to an 8–1 win over the stumbling Giants. Lee May has 4 hits and 2 RBIs. The Giants hold a precarious one-game lead.
Brooks Robinson breaks a 2-2 tie with an 8th inning grand slam as the Orioles top the visiting Yankees, 6-2.
17th The White Sox defeat the Angels, 9–4, with each Chicago player in the lineup driving in one run.
At the Astrodome, Don Wilson (16-8) fires a one-hitter as the Astros beat the Reds, 4-1. A double by Tony Perez is the only hit.
18th San Diego’s Clay Kirby allows just one hit—a wind-blown homer in the 8th by Willie McCovey—in beating the Giants, 2–1. Despite the loss, the Giants retain their 2-game edge over the Dodgers. The Padres score their first run on a triple by Barton in the 3rd and a squeeze by Enzio Hernandez, and score the winner on an unearned run in the 8th off Perry. For Hernandez, his bunt gives him 12 RBIs: his 12 RBIs in 549 at bats is the fewest in history by anyone with 500 at bats. Kirby lost a no-hitter 5 days ago when Houston’s Johnny Edwards doubled in the 8th with one out. He then lost the game , 3–2, on an unearned run in the 9th.
Carlos May hits a 1st-inning grand slam and Tom Bradley evens his record at 14 apiece as the White Sox trip the host Angels, 5-1.
19th Dodgers Al Downing and Don Sutton hurl shutouts during a 12–0, 4–0 doubleheader triumph over the Braves. The Dodgers have 19 hits in the opener, including 4 by Davis. LA now trails the Giants by 1 1/2 games.
After leaving one runner on base yesterday in a 5-1 win, the formula comes up short today as the White Sox lose, 2-0, to California’s Andy Messersmith, who bests Wilbur Wood. The two runners left on base in two consecutive games ties the ML and AL records.
20th The Senators finally beat the Indians 8–6 in 20 innings, thus completing a suspended game begun 6 days earlier in Cleveland. The last four innings are played today in Washington. The two teams finish the 20 frames with 30 walks issued, an AL record for an extra-inning game. Washington pitchers hand out 19 walks. The two teams combine on another AL record as they strand 25 base runners, and the teams combine for record 4 runs in the 20th inning. In the nightcap, the Indians win, 3–1, handing Denny McLain his 21st defeat. Meanwhile, Senators owner Bob Short is given permission to move his team to Texas, where they will become the Rangers, a nickname adopted on November 23rd.
21st Dave McNally shuts out the Yankees 5–0 for his 20th win. It is the 4th straight 20-win year for the Oriole ace.
22nd The Phillies leave 14 men on base without scoring in a 2–0 loss to the Expos. Bill Stoneman is the winner over Rick Wise.
Rochester (International League) beats Denver (American Association) 9–6 to win the Junior WS, 4 games to 3.
24th Wasting a heroic pitching effort by starter Clay Kirby, the Padres lose to the Astros 2–1 in 21 innings. Kirby hurls 15 innings and strikes out 15 men. The Padres win the second game, 5-4.
The Orioles clinch their division as Mike Cuellar wins his 20th game 9–2 over the Indians. In game 2 of the doubleheader, Pat Dobson cards his 20th win, a 7–0 shutout.
Al Downing becomes a 20-game winner for the first time in his career, as the Dodgers whip the Braves, 2–0. Davis has 3 hits, one a homer, and scores both runs. LA trails the Giants by 2 games.
The Phils Randy Lersch snaps an 11-game losing streak, beating the Cubs, 6–1.
At Busch, Joe Hague belts a one-out walkoff grand slam, off Mike Marshall, in the 10th to give the Cardinals a 10-6 victory over the Expos. Matty Alou had given the Birds a brief lead in the 7th with a 3-run homer. Rusty Staub and Ron Woods each have 4 hits for the Expos.
25th With rookie C Tim Hosley hitting 2 homers and driving in 5 runs, the Tigers trip the Yankees, 10–7. Les Cain pitches 6 innings for the win. Cain finishes with a 10–9 record with 145 innings, but contends he is forced to pitch by Manager Billy Martin while Cain has a sore arm. Cain later claims that it did permanent damage to his arm and he sues the Tigers. In a landmark decision, the Michigan Bureau of Workman’s Compensation will order the Tigers to pay Cain $111 a month for the rest of his life. A lump sum payment was later agreed upon.
26th Jim Palmer becomes the 4th member of the Orioles 1971 pitching staff to notch his 20th victory, shutting out the host Indians, 5–0. Only one other team in ML history—the 1920 White Sox—boasted four 20-game winners.
Washington P Denny McLain loses his 22nd game of the season, dropping a 6–3 decision to the Red Sox.
Ernie Banks gets his 2,583rd hit, a first-inning single off the Phils Ken Reynolds, but the Cubs lose 5–1. It is the last hit of his 19-year ML career.
The Giants maintain their one-game lead in the West with a 12-5 spanking of the Reds. Tito Fuentes has 2 doubles and a triple, Dick Dietz collects a grand slam and 5 RBIs, and Willie Mays and Bobby Bonds homer in the 6th. Winning pitcher Juan Marichal has one of the 10 SF extra base hits.
28th Arbitrator Lewis Gill rules that Alex Johnson was “emotionally incapacitated” during events leading to his June suspension, and that he should be treated the same as a physically disabled player. Johnson wins nearly $30,000 in back salary from the Angels.
Baltimore achieves 108 wins for the season with doubleheader victories at Boston 10–2 and 5–4. The Orioles become only the 3rd team to win 100 games in 3 straight seasons.
29th In the 6th inning of the Expos 6–5 win over the Cubs, Ron Hunt is hit by a Milt Pappas pitch. It is the 50th HBP for Hunt in 1971, setting a ML record. Teammate Rusty Staub is second in the NL in getting hit by pitches with 9.
The Astros light up Al Downing and the Dodgers, 11–0 as Forsch scatter 10 hits. LA doesn’t lose ground on the Giants and the Padres win, 4–1, in 10 innings. Nate Colbert’s 3-run homer is the winner.
30th The Giants win the Western division title by one game over the Dodgers, beating the Pirates, 5–1. Marichal allow 5 hits in the win over Roberts. Willie Mays swipes two bases in the 5thinning on the same play. After he walks, the Pirates overshift on McCovey, leaving 3B open. Mays steals 2B and continues on to the uncovered third base. The Dodgers 2–1 win over the Padres leaves them short.
The Senators draw 14,000 for their final game in Washington, with another 4,000 crashing. Dick Bosman gives up homers to Bobby Murcer, Roy White, and Rusty Torres and the Nats are down 5–1 in the 6th. Mike Kekich then grooves a 2-0 fastball for Frank Howard, who parks his 26th homer. Hondo tips his hat to Kekich as he rounds 3B and thanks Munson as he crosses the plate. The Senators take a 7–5 lead, and after Murcer makes the 2nd out in the 9th, fans swarm onto the field, causing the game to be forfeited to the Yanks, 9–0. All records stand but reliever Paul Lindblad losses the W by not recording the 3rd out to batter Horace Clarke. Of the Senators, Jeff Burroughs will be the last to retire, finishing up in 1985.
Chicago finishes the season by edging the last-place Brewers, 2–1, on Bill Melton’s 33rd HR of the year. Melton is the first AL HR leader in Sox history.