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Dodgers Top Pirates, Increase Lead over Cards to Five Games

Sept. 20, 1963 - Great pitching and blinding speed, a formula that has kept Los Angeles ahead of the pack since July 2, proved a winning combination again today as the Dodgers widened their lead over the fading Cardinals to five games. With Don Drysdale hurling a 2-0 shutout over Pittsburgh while his teammates stole five bases, including a triple steal, the Dodgers pruned their magic number to three. After the crushing conquest of the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Dodgers returned to their own playpen to receive a heroes’ welcome from 40,476 fans. Tommy Davis was on the front end of a triple steal against Don Schwall in the second inning, his steal of home giving L.A a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, Maury Wills beat out a nubber, advanced on Jim Gilliam’s sacrifice bunt, stole third for his 37th theft and kept on coming as Smoky Burgess’ peg bounced past Bob Bailey at third base. This was Maury’s 233rd career steal, breaking the club standard he shared with his shortstopping predecessor, Pee Wee Reese. Another club record was established when Drysdale blanked the Bucs for his third goose-egg performance. It was the Dodgers’ 23rd shutout win, topping the mark set in 1906 and equaled in 1916. In addition, Tommy Davis went 3-for-4 to take over the league batting lead from the Cardinals’ Dick Groat. Davis, the defending champ, is two points ahead of Groat at .324. After the game, Drysdale said: “I think I’m back at full strength. I have those shingles licked. There’s nothing left but the scars, and I feel great.” Skipper Walter Alston added: “When Drysdale’s healthy, he’s a pretty good pitcher, I’ll tell you. That illness had him down. He was wild in Philly and weak in Pittsburgh, but it looks like it’s all back now.” World Series fever has already arrived in Los Angeles, with the New York press checking in tonight to scout the Dodgers. Drysdale, Wills, and Tommy Davis gave them a show.


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