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Giants Top Dodgers, Join Phils at Top of Standings

May 3, 1964 - Juan Marichal’s sparkling six-hitter beat the Dodgers, 6-3, today and boosted the Giants into a tie with the Phillies for the National League lead.

Don Juan allowed just one hit over the final six innings, ran his 1964 record to 4-0, and extended his win streak to 10 games. Marichal hasn’t lost a game since the Dodgers beat him in Los Angeles last Aug. 30.

A Dodger Stadium crowd of 52,309 saw the Giants pummel young Nick Willhite for five runs in the first two innings.

Willie Mays drove in the first run in the first inning and then, in the eighth, regained the major league home run lead by walloping his ninth of the season. Mays’ homer came against Ron Perranoski. Willie’s two hits today put his world-leading average at .456 and his two RBI’s gave him 23 in that department.

On an afternoon when they were beaten by a 25-game winner and felt the sting of another home run by the major leagues’ power king, the Dodgers saw nothing normal about their loss to the Giants.

Instead, calm manager Walter Alston and excited coach Leo Durocher were complaining about a play in the sixth inning which left a permanent question mark on the faces of everybody in the park.

Here’s what happened:

Dodger Jim Gilliam took off from third base on an attempted steal of home. Frank Howard laid down a belated bunt on Marichal’s hurried pitch, collided with Gilliam, and was thrown out at first base.

Alston contended that Marichal had quick-pitched (which constitutes a balk) when he saw Jim racing home, while Giant manager Alvin Dark insisted his pitcher wasn’t on the rubber, made the throw home like any ordinary, red-blooded infielder, and that Gilliam should’ve been called out because Howard interfered with Marichal’s throw.

Here were the varying explanations:

Alston — “Howard was quick-pitched. It had to be an illegal pitch.”

Durocher — “Marichal went into his motion and stopped dead. You can’t do that, it’s a balk.”

Dark — “Juan never got on the rubber, he was just like another infielder throwing home to catch a runner. There’s no way he could have balked.”

Marichal — “That’s right. I saw Gilliam running, and I just threw it. I wasn’t aiming for a strike. I just wanted to get him out.”

Despite winning two out of three from the champs, Dark still regards them as potent pennant contenders “because of all that pitching.” However, he points out that his club, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and St. Louis have all improved themselves through deals. “As far as the Dodgers improving themselves, I don’t know,” he said.

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