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League-Leading White Sox Top Twins, 5-1

May 13, 1964 - Dave Nicholson (pictured) crashed a three-run homer and Pete Ward drilled a two-run double in support of Juan Pizarro’s four-hit pitching as the league-leading Chicago White Sox defeated the Twins in Minnesota tonight, 5-1.

Pizarro, gaining his third straight victory, struck out seven and walked two.

Ward got Pizarro all the runs he needed with a two-out double in the first. Nicholson belted his homer, also with two out, in the eighth, scoring Floyd Robinson and Ron Hansen.

Pizarro held standout rookie Tony Oliva hitless in four trips, lowering Tony’s league-leading average to .423.

Bob Allison hit a homer in the ninth, spoiling Pizarro’s shutout.

“There aren’t many pitchers around who can throw as hard as Pizarro,” said happy manager Al Lopez of the White Sox. “But there’s one thing more. Pizarro’s fastball on a good night like this isn’t coming in there straight. It moves around.”

Pizarro is not the unharnessed thrower he was with the Milwaukee Braves several years ago.

“The thing that’s different,” said Juan, “is my control. I had it tonight. Sometimes I have thrown a slow curve. I didn’t have to tonight. The fastball was going in there for strikes. It didn’t bother me too much when Allison hit the home run in the ninth. I was just trying to throw strikes. There was no use walking anybody with a five-run lead.”

From Twins manager Sam Mele came this tribute for the big-shouldered Puerto Rican: “When Pizarro is going right, I can’t think of many left-handers in this league who are better. But you know, Dick Stigman pitched a pretty good ballgame. We flubbed around on a couple of fielding chances that could have spared us a lot of trouble.”

One of those was a ball hit by Floyd Robinson in the first on which Don Mincher failed to make a play to Stigman covering. The Sox later scored two runs.

Stigman said the generous thing and suggested he was tardy in yelling for Mincher to handle the ball. But Mincher thought he probably messed it up, and Mele more or less agreed.

“The one thing he’s got to do on that play is at least throw the ball,” Mele said. “But it wasn’t thrown.”

Mele also indicated Earl Battey may return as catcher if there is no sign of bleeding from his recent tooth extraction.

“I’m ready,” Battey said, “anytime they call on me.”

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