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Mays Homer Wins It for Giants, Top Pirates 3-1

July 28, 1963 - Willie Mays blasted a 2-run homer today that sparked the San Francisco Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates before a sunny Sunday crowd of 32,412 at Candlestick Park. The triumph was the Giants’ seventh straight and Jack Sanford’s first since June 18. The Pirates led, 1-0, in the sixth when Don Schwall hit Willie McCovey in the side with a pitch. His next two throws brushed back Mays. Then the Giants’ center fielder smashed his 23rd home run, a drive into the left-field seats at Candlestick Park. Sanford scattered eight hits, though the Pirates mounted several threats. Singles by Bob Bailey and Roberto Clemente around an infield out produced the Pittsburgh run in the first. Afterward, Giant manager Alvin Dark called it the “same combination that won the pennant for us last year — good pitching and a Willie Mays home run.” Sanford, a 24-game winner last year, hadn’t had a win in his last 8 games. He was about as pleased as a pitcher can be as he surveyed the cluster of writers in front of his locker. “It’s been a long time,” one newsman suggested. “It’s been so long,” replied Jack with a grin, “that I can’t remember some of you guy’s names.” He also noted that it was a “long game — I never thought it was going to end. The ball was getting a little heavy toward the end. A little too close for comfort. Like all pitchers, I like to see a lot of runs.” “The difference between Sanford today and some of his other games,” explained Dark, “was that he had good stuff and was pitching to the right spots. He had control — psychologically and every other way.” Still, Dark was not ready to concede his Giants had started to play like champions. “We played bad ball and won Friday,” he said. “And don’t forget the Mets gave us a game. We’ve looked good the past two days because we’ve had good pitching.” The Giants are now tied for second place with the St. Louis Cardinals, who were swept by the Chicago Cubs in a doubleheader today. The Giants and Cardinals trail the league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by four-and-a-half games. The Dodgers have lost four straight.


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