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Mantle Launches Titanic Blast as Yanks Top Twins

May 16, 1963 - Mickey Mantle honored astronaut Gordon Cooper yesterday by putting a baseball into orbit — a two-run homer that soared into the upper reaches of the top right field deck of Yankee Stadium in the sixth inning. In the eighth, the famed Switcher had another critical base hit. Coupled with another one of those fielding lapses that have been plaguing Minnesota, Mantle’s single set up two more runs for the Yankees, giving them a 4-3 victory over the Twins and their pitching ace, Camilo Pascual. The victory, following Whitey Ford’s 2-1 triumph over Dick Stigman Tuesday night, gave the Yanks a sweep of the two-game series and extended their win streak to four. But until Mantle’s booming bat got into the act, it appeared that Pascual, who had a 3-0 lead over Ralph Terry going into the last of the sixth, was going to whip the Bombers for the second time this season. Mantle’s booming shot in the sixth followed a single by Bobby Richardson. It was Mickey’s No. 6 of the season and the 410th of his career. With one out in the eighth, Tom Tresh singled to deep short. Mantle singled sharply to right, Tresh moving to third. Then came the turning point. Joe Pepitone grounded to Bernie Allen at second. Bernie had a choice of two plays — to throw home to head off Tresh or toss the ball to second for a force on Mantle and a possible double play. He made neither. His view of the ball, partially obstructed by Mantle, who was thundering in front of him, caused him to fumble the ball. By the time he recovered, his only play was to retire Pepitone at first. Tresh scored with the tying run, and Mantle was on second with one out. Elston Howard then singled to right, scoring Mantle, and Pascual was a loser for the fourth time this year, giving him a 4-4 mark. The victory was Bill Stafford’s second, matching his two defeats.


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