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Giants Top Braves, Trail Phillies by Percentage Points

June 13, 1964 - The San Francisco Giants’ “big guns” fired in rotation for possibly the first time this season at Candlestick Park today, and this led manager Alvin Dark to the sound conclusion: “That’s something they’re going to have to keep doing for us to win the pennant.”

Willie Mays singled, Willie McCovey singled, and Orlando Cepeda doubled for two runs and a 6-4 victory over the Braves. The triumph kept the Giants within percentage points of league-leading Philadelphia, who defeated the Mets today.

“That’s what counts — teamwork,” said captain Mays in the happiest clubhouse the team has enjoyed all week.

There was one fellow who was elated about one aspect of the game. He was ace pitcher Juan Marichal, yanked in the seventh with the score tied 4-4. He managed a grin only when he said: “I’m happy we won. It makes me feel better.”

But, foiled in his third quest for his ninth win of the season, he could not disguise his disappointment. He was beaten 1-0 by the Cardinals in his last start.

Just as Cepeda’s smash gave the Giants their marginal runs, rookie Jim Ray Hart’s homer in the sixth tied it up and made victory possible. In each case, McCovey slashed singles to get on base on score.

“Just when I start to hit,” said McCovey, pointing to a swollen lower lip, “something happens to send me to the hospital.”

But it isn’t serious. In sliding back to first base, Willie’s chin struck the bag, and his lower lip was cut against the teeth. He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for possibly one stitch by Dr. E.C. Sailer to close the wound.

Cepeda, with two hits including the big one, lost a homer when the wind bank stopped a hard drive. Is he still using his 40-ounce bat?

“I have a new plan,” he explained. “I don’t even look at the weight of the bat. Before the game, I just handle all my bats and the one that feels the best in my hands I use that day.”

Hart, whose hot bat has been streaking along at a .333 pace on the current homestand, attributes his success to “waiting a little longer before swinging — not getting over-anxious.”

“Manager Dark told me I was getting way out in front with my bat,” he said. “Now, my timing has improved. I feel more comfortable, and I feel surer in the field too.”

Hart made the final putout on a high foul pop-up near the third base wall by Hank Aaron.

“I had to get that one — you can’t give Aaron a second chance,” he said.

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