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Dodgers Top Mets in L.A.

May 19, 1964 - Off to a shaky start and roughed up in the middle going, Phil Ortega finished strong tonight as Los Angeles triumphed over the New York Mets, 6-4, before a Dodger stadium throng of 18,402 spectators.

Ortega bested Tracy Stallard, the last New Yorker to defeat the Dodgers. Since Stallard’s win over Bob Miller last July 30, the Dodgers have conquered Casey Stengel’s spunky club nine times in a row.

In the throes of his best season, Dick Tracewski paced the champs by singling home two runs in the third and scoring another after doubling in the sixth.

Maury Wills stole his 12th and 13th bases, once on the front end of a double steal with Jim Gilliam. Wills, whose name was inserted in the starting lineup only minutes before game time, also had a sacrifice fly, a single, and a walk to belie his gimpiness.

The Mets, who came to L.A. with a record of seven wins in their last 13 games against tough competition, scored once in the opening inning on Dick Smith’s single and steal, John Roseboro’s overthrow, and Rod Kanehl’s double.

The Dodgers, in their inimitable fashion, tallied twice against Stallard without the benefit of a base hit in their half of the first.

After Wills walked and Gilliam was hit by a pitch, they worked their double steal. Maury came home as Tommy Davis bounced out, and Gilliam galloped in on Jess Gonder’s passed ball.

After the game, New York manager Casey Stengel refuted the charge that the utter ineptness of the Mets was responsible for much of their fan appeal last year, when they drew more than a million customers.

“I’ve heart that,” Casey said. “But have the Angels got our kind of a following? It’s a fact that we’re drawing.”

Someone wanted to know if the World’s Fair, which is just a pop fly from the Mets’ new Shea Stadium, has boosted their attendance. Casey bristled.

“We drew over a million last year, and where was the Fair?” he snapped. “It’s us. I’m not at all surprised we’ve been outdrawing the Yankees. Some of our games are pretty good.”

“In our new park,” he continued, “you can go up in escalators and not have a heart attack, and you can sit in good seats. We got seats where you push a button and they tilt back so you can see fly balls.” Casey demonstrated in his swivel chair.

Stengel got his hackles up again when reminded of uncomplimentary remarks attributed to Duke Snider and other Met escapees.

“Maybe they were glad to get away, but they ain’t playing regular,” he barked. “Some of those young fellows like to be here.”

The 73-year-old manager reported that of the seven teams the Mets had faced before coming to L.A., he was most impressed by the Phillies.

“I think Mauch’s trades have helped his club. I picked the Dodgers to win, but I think the Phillies are gonna play you hard. I’m even liable to scare you here with this crippled-up club.”

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