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Giants’ Offense Explodes, Beat Reds, 13-6 as Mays Slams Sixth HR

Apr. 19, 1964 - The Giants exploded for nine runs in the sixth inning today at Candlestick Park, wiped out a 5-2 Cincinnati lead and rolled on to a 13-6 victory over the Reds, with Willie Mays’ sixth home run in six days providing the final run.

Billy Pierce picked up the victory. The southpaw pitched one perfect inning after the Reds jolted Juan Marichal for nine hits and five runs, then left for a pinch hitter in the big sixth. Bob Shaw preserved Pierce’s first 1964 decision.

Joe Nuxhall was the victim of the nine-run outburst. The big lefty was leading by three runs when Mays got the crowd of 30,196 stirring with a base on balls. There wasn’t much noise when Willie McCovey forced Mays on a great stop by Pete Rose, but they started clapping when Jim Hart laced a single to left and then Jim Davenport blooped a single to right, loading the bases.

José Pagan’s sharp single scored McCovey, but Hart was out trying to score. That it made it two out — but the best was still to come.

Del Crandall walked, loading the bases again, and Orlando Cepeda, still hobbled by his aching right knee, drew a pinch walk for Pierce, forcing Davenport home.

Billy O’Dell trotted out to run for Cepeda, and Fred Hutchinson walked to the mound to get Al Worthington to pitch for Nuxhall.

Jesus Alou socked a soft single behind second on Worthington’s second pitch, driving in the tying and go-ahead runs for San Francisco as Candlestick went wild. Harvey Kuenn walked on four pitches, reloading the bases, and Mays promptly unloaded, drilling the first pitch into left for a two-run single.

Southpaw Bill Henry came in to pitch to McCovey and got him to pop one into short right. Rose scurried under the ball and dropped it for a two-run error.

Hart then belted his second hit in the inning, scoring McCovey with the ninth run before Davenport flied out, ending the super sixth.

The only thing the folks were wondering after that was whether Mays would jolt his daily homer, and that Willie did leading off the eighth. He shellacked Chet Nichols’ second pitch a good 390 feet, over the fence in left center.

“The base on balls is a big part of this game,” said Giant manager Alvin Dark afterward. “We haven’t taken ‘em very much. The Giants have been a swinging club. But they mean something. Now if we can just get McCovey starting to hit and Cepeda back in action, we’ll be all right.”

Mays admitted he had never had a faster start. “I’ve had a higher batting average, but not the all-around game,” he said. “I won’t try and explain it. I’m just happy about it. I don’t know how long it will last, but I hope all year.”

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