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Koufax Authors Two-Hit Shutout over Houston, 2-0

Apr. 19, 1963 - Thousands upon thousands of Dodger fans who chickened out because of threatening weather tonight missed the unveiling of another Sandy Koufax masterpiece. The second-smallest crowd ever to see a Dodger game in the new stadium, 15,564, was treated to a 2-hit shutout by Koufax and a tremendous 2-run homer by Frank Howard as Los Angeles humbled Houston, 2-0. Had the game been postponed — and things looked pretty dismal right up to game time — it would have stopped a string of 402 consecutive home games played by the Dodgers without a rainout since they moved to Los Angeles. While he enjoyed fanning 14 Colts, Koufax seemed more pleased with actually beating them. Four times last season he started and failed to finish against the Colts, and he was KO’d and beaten in his only previous appearance against them this season. The Houston starter, ex-Dodger Turk Farrell, was excellent, but he finally succumbed in the seventh. The Dodgers had been without an extra-base hit in 31 innings before Jim Gilliam cleared the first-base bag with a ringing double to open the inning. Wally Moon advanced Jim with a drag bunt, and then Howard brought rain — or a drizzle, at least — by parking a 2-2 fastball into the rear of the Dodger bullpen with a drive that carried some 450 feet. In authoring the Dodgers’ second shutout and reducing the staff’s earned-run average to a minute 1.34, Koufax reached double figures in strikeouts for the 42nd time in his career. The major league record for this feat is 54, shared by Bob Feller and Rube Waddell. Every Colt except Bob Lillis and Johnny Temple struck out at least once as Sandy’s fastball and curve worked magic. He used an absolute minimum of nine pitches to fan Bob Aspromonte, Jim Campbell, and Farrell in the fifth and also struck out the side in the seventh. Howard, incidentally, wore glasses in the pre-game workout tonight and will wear them in day games. “I was fitted for glasses during the 1960 season,” said Howard, “but stubbornness and false pride kept me from wearing them.” Hondo, who is now batting a hefty .412, said he can see pitches with no trouble but has had some difficulty picking up fly balls.

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