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Orioles Top A’s as Gentile Comes Through

“Come on, you big bum,” shouted a fan at Oriole Jim Gentile (pictured). “Make with a hit for once.” With that, Jim Gentile transformed himself into an Oriole hero by lashing a 2-out tenth-inning home run into the left-field bleachers that gained Baltimore a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Athletics tonight at Memorial Stadium. When the big Bird first baseman completed his circuit of the bases, he was met by a receiving line of Oriole teammates. And leading the greeters were Steve Barber and Al Smith, whose seven-hit pitching and whose two-run fourth-inning homer had helped make the triumph possible. Gentile, who has been entombed in a deathly slump, had to be the happiest guy in the ballpark. “I was getting closer and closer, and I knew it had to come sooner or later,” said Jim after the game. “I hope they keep coming.” Gentile’s blow netted the Birds a split of the two-game series, achieved the Orioles’ sixth decision in the last eight games, and elevated Baltimore back into first place with a 9-5 record. Barber, the winning pitcher tonight, owns more victories than any other pitcher in the league. And he was a slugger in tonight’s triumph as well. In the fifth, he slammed a ball 380 feet on the fly to right-center, getting a ground-rule double when the ball hopped over the fence. In the seventh, he lined a single through the right side. “It was my best game ever for hitting — without a doubt,” Barber proudly observed. “Give the credit to Dave McNally. He changed my stance — had me hold the bat up so I got a more level swing.” Robin Robert will seek his first 1963 victory and the 245th of his career tomorrow night when the Orioles open a 3-game weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels.


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