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Twins Top Yanks as Stigman Hurls Five-Hitter

June 1, 1964 - The Twins’ Dick Stigman pitched himself away from the brink of a trade with a five-hit, 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees tonight at Metropolitan Stadium before 29,649 persons.

Rumored in every trade overture the Twins have made for the last month, Stigman won his second game on his first nine-inning effort this season. He struck out six and walked four.

The result pulled Minnesota into fourth place ahead of the Yankees in the American League standings. The Twins ran their personal win streak to seven against New York — two last fall, two in spring exhibitions, two in New York 10 days ago, and tonight.

The only Yankee run off Stigman came on Elston Howard’s howitzer homer over the center-field fence with two out in the eighth.

The Twins gathered six hits off loser Ralph Terry (1-4) and Pete Mikkelsen, who pitched the last two innings after Terry left for a pinch hitter.

Minnesota moved ahead 1-0 in the second on Don Mincher’s 425-foot homer off the scoreboard in right-center field. It was No. 8 for Mincher.

The limping plight of the Yankees was best portrayed in the final at-bat of the ballgame, when a hobbled Mickey Mantle came to bat. He dragged a game leg to the plate, but he was still Mickey Mantle, and there was a flutter among the witnesses in the Stadium.

“He may not be healthy,” Stigman said afterward, “but whenever Mantle walks up to the plate in the late innings and the crowd gets excited and starts to buzz, the pitcher is going to get goose bumps.”

With two out in the ninth, Stigman had walked Clete Boyer. With Mantle at the plate, he stepped into a depression on the mound and launched a wild pitch, which put Boyer on second with the tying run.

Twins manager Sam Mele walked to the mound.

“Make him swing at your breaking stuff low,” Mele told Stigman. “And don’t make it too good. If he walks, we’ve got a left-hander [Tony Kubek] coming up next.”

“If Mantle was going to hit,” Mele said after the game, “we wanted him to hit the best bad pitch Stigman can throw.”

Stigman threw the breaking ball, Mantle hammered a ground shot into the hole, Zoilo Versalles dug it out, and threw to first to seal the victory.

It was no contest. Mantle, hobbling, was over 20 feet from first when the throw hit Mincher’s mitt.

“If he was healthy,” said manager Yogi Berra afterward, “Mickey would have beat it out for a base hit. Hell, I might have beat it out.”

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