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Pirates Hand Reds Third Straight Defeat

Apr. 14, 1963 - The slumping Cincinnati Reds laid another egg yesterday, but it wasn’t of the Easter variety. Instead it was a 12-4 walloping at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who breezed to victory while the Reds were plunging to their third straight defeat. Base hits and balks were a dime a dozen as the Pirates, victors in only one game at Crosley Field in 1962, clobbered Jimmy O’Toole and Johnny Tsitouris for 17 hits. Bill Mazeroski led the blistering attack, driving in three runs with a homer, double, and a single. The Bucs did a fine job of bunching their hits, as they got off to a three-run lead in the first inning, added four more — all unearned — in the sixth, and added five more in the ninth. This made it a relatively simple matter for veteran Bob Friend (pictured) to post his first victory of the 1963 campaign — or maybe not so simple. Less than a week into the 1963 season, Friend already enjoys the dubious distinction of having set one National League balk record and having tied another. He was charged with four balks today — two in one inning — giving him six in the two games he has pitched. The league’s old record of five balks in one season was set by Max Lanier — but over 181 innings for the Cardinals in 1950. Friend’s two balks in the fourth inning equaled a record held since 1933 by the old Boston Braves’ Bobby Brown. In total, seven balks — unquestionably a modern major league record for one game — were called by the four umpires. Today’s rival managers voice different opinions over the balk calls. “I’m not unhappy,” Murtaugh said in the dressing room after the game. “Every balk called on Friend was a balk. I just want them to be consistent.” “It’s a mess,” snorted the Reds’ Fred Hutchinson. “I’m unhappy with the strict enforcement.” Friend told newsmen: “I have no squawk. I work fast and am therefore susceptible to making balks. But I’m sure my new balk record won’t hold up if these umpires keep calling it like this.”

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