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Tigers Annihilate Twins, 16-1

June 9, 1964 - The Detroit Tigers threw a “sweet 16” party tonight. Everybody had fun except the Minnesota Twins.

The Tigers — the team that was ninth in the league in hitting and ninth in scoring runs — cut loose with their biggest barrage of the season and trounced the Twins by the hard-to-believe score of 16-1.

The Tigers bolted to an 8-1 lead and then put over eight big runs in a wild seventh-inning outburst.

Don Demeter (pictured), who suddenly looks like the cleanup hitter the Tigers have been searching for all season, crashed two homers and knocked in five runs.

“I’m getting some of those I didn’t get when I hit the ball just as hard earlier in the season,” Don smiled after the game. “You’ve got to be lucky too.”

Bill Freehan slammed a single, triple, and home run. He knocked in four runs.

Al Kaline, still on a tear, got two doubles and a single and pushed his average to the brink of the .300 mark. He finished the night at .298, a tremendous surge since May 23 when he was down in the doldrums at .214.

Denny McLain, the 20-year-old kid from Chicago, got the benefit of this bombardment. But he needed only two runs to win — he pitched that well.

In becoming the first Detroit pitcher to go the distance since May 19, McLain scattered seven hits and struck out eight. He kept his fastball in fairly good control, walking four batters, but never more than one in any inning.

His only real mistake was a home run pitch to Harmon Killebrew. But shucks, even people like Whitey Ford do that. This was the Killer’s 17th homer.

After the game, Detroit manager Charlie Dressen apologized for bunting in the late innings of the rout.

“I heard [Twins manager] Sam [Mele] was mad because we were bunting,” said Dressen. “I wasn’t bunting with the pitcher to make runs. I was trying to make outs.”

McLain was tickled with his first victory of the season.

“Never had so many runs to work on,” he grinned. “All I had to do was throw fastballs over the plate.”

Dressen likes McLain as a prospect. He was claimed for the $8,000 first-year waiver price from the White Sox in 1963. Denny won 13 and lost two at Duluth of the Northern League last summer. He was 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA at Syracuse before being recalled this month.


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