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Cardinals Drop Second Consecutive 2-1 Decision to Giants

May 28, 1964 - A baseball club that scores only two runs in 34 innings is no Giant killer. The Cardinals are the club without clubs at the moment — and what a long, agonizing moment it has been after losing to league-leading San Francisco by 2-1 on successive nights at Busch Stadium.

Tonight’s defeat, on Willie Mays’ eighth-inning homer off Curt Simmons, was the Redbirds’ fifth in a row. That isn’t, as catcher Tim McCarver pointed out, “the end of the world.” But it may lead to the end of a first-division ride by the Cardinals.

A week ago tonight, they were third and within a game of the N.L. lead. Now, with only four scoring innings in their last 39, they are fifth, three games behind the Giants. San Francisco regained first place from the Phillies by sweeping the two games in St. Louis.

Just 11 percentage points behind the Cards are the Cincinnati Reds. After playing a 17-inning tie with Los Angeles last night, the Reds have a five-game unbeaten string going into tomorrow night’s opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.

“We’ve wasted a lot of fine pitching in the last two games,” said St. Louis manager Johnny Keane. The Birds left 12 men on base tonight and couldn’t add to the run they scored in the fifth inning for Simmons.

Simmons scored it himself. He had forced Bob Uecker, on base with a leadoff single, in a sacrifice attempt, then came around when Curt Flood’s double skipped off the bullpen mound and past left fielder Jesus Alou.

In the seventh, the same Alou fielded Carl Warwick’s single, and his on-the-fly throw to catcher Del Crandall caught Uecker at the plate with room to spare as he tried to score from second.

“With two out, we had to try for the run and send Uecker in,” Keane explained. “We had to hope for a wide throw or a bounce that got past the catcher.”

“It took a good throw,” said Cardinal third-base coach Vern Benson. “That ball passed Uecker like a roadrunner.”

Commenting on the pitch that Mays — or “Captain Marvel,” as Harry Jupiter of the San Francisco Examiner calls him — sent off a girder in the right-center pavilion for the homer, a disgusted Simmons said: “I threw one change-up too many — and it was up. Just the wrong pitch for this park. In some other parks, the ball might have been caught or would have gone only for a double.”

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