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Orioles Whip Athletics as Powell Slams Two Homers

June 3, 1964 - Boog Powell (right) slammed two long home runs, one a truly gigantic blast, and Luis Aparicio (left) and Willie Kirkland each added another as the Baltimore Orioles whipped the Athletics, 5-1, tonight in Kansas City to remain on top in the American League pennant race. Powell’s first wallop, following a seventh-inning walk to Norm Siebern, smashed up against the middle of the scoreboard 440 feet from home plate and 40 feet above the ground.

According to Joe McGuff, veteran Kansas City baseball writer, the blow was one of the longest ever hit at Municipal Stadium. He recalled clouts by Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard as having been tremendous ones. McGuff said Howard’s was off the scoreboard too but not as high as Powell’s, while Mantle crashed his off the fan-a-gram board to the right of the scoreboard.

Boog’s blast, his 11th of the ’64 campaign, made the score 3-0 and enabled Robin Roberts to capture his third straight victory and fourth in six decisions. It was the 21st victory in 27 games played by the surging Birds beginning on May 8.

Roberts went the distance on a six-hitter, struck out six, and walked only two as he registered the 262nd triumph of his 17-year major league career.

“I hit two home runs in three nights here and show you up, so you gotta hit two home runs in one night and show me up,” the diminutive Aparicio kidded Powell after the game. “I gotta go back to singles, boys. Can’t steal no bases hitting home runs.”

Grinning broadly in the flush of the Birds’ sixth straight triumph, the 22-year-old Powell went right along with the gag in the bedlam of the Oriole clubhouse.

“Me and Luis — we’re the one-two punch on this ballclub,” hollered Boog.

Powell figured tonight’s seventh-inning blast was hit better than his 469-foot clout over the Baltimore stadium hedge in 1962 off Boston’s Don Schwall.

“If I’d have hit this one in Baltimore, I think it would’ve been a lot farther than the one two years ago — it carried better,” said Boog.

As for Roberts, his big pitch, said the 36-year-old right-hander, was a strikeout curve to Rocky Colavito that retired the A’s in the sixth with Wayne Causey on second and the Birds leading by only 1-0.

“It was the only breaking ball I threw all night,” Roberts remarked.

“Great game, Robin,” interrupted a clubhouse jester. “But you struck out three times tonight, and your batting average has shrunk to .071. Frankly, I’m getting a little worried about your hitting.”

“That’s one of the nicest compliments a pitcher can get,” replied Roberts. “Somebody worried about his hitting.”

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