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Dodgers Maul Mets, 9-2, after Alston Benches Howard and Davis

June 6, 1964 - His patience exhausted, manager Walter Alston benched Frank Howard and Tommy Davis today and the Dodgers went ahead and mauled the Mets, 9-2, before a matinee Shea Stadium crowd of 34,750.

The turnout sent the Mets’ home attendance for 19 dates to 532,080 and put them ahead of last season’s Polo Grounds pace by 173,830.

Even with their top sluggers on the bench, the champions collected 14 hits off loser Jack Fisher and three successors for a 1964 club high.

“Maybe a short rest will do ‘em both good,” said Alston. Howard is batting .215, and Davis, the two-time major league batting king, is down to .250.

It was the first time, according to Davis, that he has been benched in the majors except on occasion when he was injured. Howard has ridden the boards before, but not this season.

“Tommy just looks like he’s pressing,” commented Alston. “He’s just not swinging right.”

Howard’s replacement, Wally Moon, lashed a two-run single and go another hit, and Tommy’s stand-in, Wes Parker, singled twice and scored a pair of runs.

The big bopper of the contest was Willie Davis, whose pair of doubles accounted for three runs.

Before today’s skirmish, the punchless Dodgers had mounted only one scoring inning in 31 rounds — that coming on Howard’s three-run homer Thursday night in Philadelphia when Sandy Koufax pitched his third no-hitter.

But against Casey Stengel’s crew, the Californians had two three-run rallies to assure Bob Miller’s first victory of the season after three defeats. Miller relieved Phil Ortega with two out in the fifth and the Mets making menacing gestures.

There was cause for celebration in Westfield, N.J., when its sturdy son, Jeff Torborg, slugged a single for his first major league hit in the eighth inning. The hit came on the rookie Dodger’s fifth trip to the plate.


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