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Dodgers Earn Second Straight Shutout Victory

Apr. 27, 1964 - With Don Drysdale backed up by booming bats, the ninth-place Dodgers made it two victories in a row for the first time this season tonight — and it was their second straight shutout win.

While posting his 23rd career shutout at the expense of the Houston Colts, 6-5, Drysdale was given a working margin of runs for a change.

Ron Fairly and Frank Howard each slugged a two-run homer and Willie Davis contributed a solo shot to shake up a turnout of 14,751 Texans at Colt Stadium. Hondo’s round-tripper was his sixth of the season and gave him eight RBIs in his last six games.

Only three Colts got as far as second base and eight were left stranded as Drysdale dominated the proceedings. Bob Aspromonte, Don’s former teammate, collected half of Houston’s six hits, but Big D fanned five. His first victim, leadoff man Eddie Kasko in the first inning, became Don’s 1,500th career strikeout.

However, it took a great running catch by Willie Davis to preserve Don’s shutout. With Aspromonte and John Bateman aboard and two out in the seventh, Willie ran a mile to glove Al Spangler’s curving line drive that seemed headed for extra bases.

Ken Johnson (2-1), who wrote baseball history in his last start by losing a nine-inning no-hitter to Cincinnati, faces the Dodgers’ young right-hander, Joe Moeller (0-1) tomorrow night. Johnson refuses to accept the label of “hard-luck pitcher.” “If I’d won a no-hitter,” he said today, “everybody would’ve forgotten it by next season. This way, they’ll be talking about me for years.”

In other Dodger news, Dr. Robert Kerlan, orthopedic surgeon who is administering treatment to Sandy Koufax’s ailing left elbow, expressed optimism today.

“I’m encouraged for the first time,” he said after another examination of the injured arm of the Dodgers’ star pitcher, who was hurt last week in St. Louis. However, he added this:

“I doubt that Sandy can return to action at least until after the Giant series this weekend. HIs return to action after that time depends on his future progress, and I’d just be guessing to say what that will be.”

How does Koufax feel? “Well, I’d rather be playing,” he said tonight. “Sure, the arm hurts,” he added, “but it does feel a little better. I can’t think of any grand quote on the subject. It just hurts.”

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