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Dodgers Capture 1-0 Thriller over Reds as Podres Shines

July 5, 1963 - Two pitches were all that prevented Johnny Podres from turning in a perfect game tonight as the veteran southpaw gave another of the fantastic performances that have marked the work of the Dodger mound staff during the current homestand. Allowing only two Reds to get aboard via singles, Podres captured a 1-0 thriller from Cincinnati’s Jim O’Toole on the strength of a seventh-inning home run by Frank Howard. When Howard had fanned earlier in the game, he came back to the dugout and told Podres: “You just keep holding ‘em, and I’ll get one for you yet.”Leading off the seventh, Hondo did just that. A Dodger Stadium crowd of 35,536 was treated to a short but sweet contest that lasted a mere 95 minutes. It was the fastest game played in the National League this year. With the Giants knocking the Cardinals out of second place, the Dodgers stretched their league lead to three games. This was the 13th shutout by Dodger pitchers this year, three of which came during the current five-game winning streak. Earlier in the week, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax blanked the Cards. Three of the 13 shutouts were dealt by Podres, and he is now tied with Drysdale at 20 career shutouts among active Dodger pitchers. After tonight’s game, Los Angeles manager Walter Alston discussed the pennant race as it now stands. “Instead of thinning out, the race is getting thicker. Looked like five clubs a few weeks ago; now it looks like six. Overall, I’d say contention is the deepest since I came into the league in 1954. I’m more concerned about the Giants than any other club because of their power. The Cardinals have improved more this season than anybody, but we were lucky to catch ‘em when they were off and we were hot. You’ve got to keep an eye on Cincinnati.” Manager Fred Hutchinson of the Reds said: “It’s a scramble. You have to pick the Dodgers right now — especially if that kid [Ken McMullen] holds up at third. But you have to include the Giants and the Cards — and us, I hope. Also the Cubs. They are solid. They’ve got good young players, and they’ve got momentum.”


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