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Garagiola Razzes Alston after Dodgers Top Pirates at Forbes Field

May 31, 1964 - It was a case of the Dodgers praying for rain after the Pirates scored three runs against Sandy Koufax in the first inning at Forbes Field today.

However, the Dodgers eventually scored four runs off Bob Friend in one fell swoop and went on to win, 6-4, before a turnout of 9,254 spectators.

By taking three straight in this series, Los Angeles stretched its Forbes Field win streak to eight in a row, but the champs still are roosting in seventh place. They remain eight games behind Philadelphia in the loss column.

A superb job of relief pitching by Ron Perranoski enabled Koufax to score his fifth victory and first on the road this season.

Willie Davis’ reckless style of baserunning so rattled the Pirates that twice he forced errors which permitted him to score — and those two tallies meant the different in the game.

On the sour side for L.A., Frank Howard went hitless in four trips. Seldom has Hondo looked worse with the bat; he now is 0-for-19 and, in this slump, has failed to knock the ball out of the infield in his last 14 at-bats and has fanned eight times.

Koufax and Friend pitched in tough luck, each allowing only three earned runs in the loosely-played fracas.

By fanning eight, Sandy regained the National League strikeout lead from Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney, 69 to 68.

Koufax also was bombed for one of the longest home runs in Forbes Field annals, which hark back to 1909.

In the third inning, with a 1-2 count on him, Roberto Clemente touched off a moon-shot that struck high on a light tower in center field, some 450 feet from the plate. Had it missed the tower, it certainly would’ve sailed at least 500 feet.

Koufax was disappointed in his showing. “I can’t seem to put two good games back to back,” he said. “My rhythm’s off, and I’m sort of mixed up.”

Jolly Joe Garagiola, in Pittsburgh for the “Game of the Week,” had Dodger pilot Walter Alston smiling all over the place before today’s game. The two were looking over the Dodgers’ bat rack when Alston said, “If we had this many bats in my day, I would’ve been a good hitter.”

This broke up Garagiola. “You couldn’t have been a good hitter with a Supreme Court order!” he said. “You and Tony Lazzeri are the only guys who became famous striking out!”

Grover Cleveland Alexander came out of the bullpen to strike out Lazzeri in the 1928 Cardinals-Yankees World Series. Alston batted only once in the major leagues — for the Cardinals in 1936 — and struck out.

“Was it swinging, or did you take?” Joe needled.

Alston laughed. “All I remember is I hit a long foul,” he said.

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