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White Sox Take A.L. Lead with 3-1 Victory over Angels

May 8, 1964 - The Chicago White Sox, the hottest team in the majors, tonight took over the American League lead when they won their 11th game in the last 13, beating the Angels in Los Angeles, 3-1.

Actually, before Juan Pizarro (right) had thrown his first pitch, the Sox had overtaken Cleveland, beaten in the afternoon by the Yankees, on percentage points. The triumph in this opener of a 10-game road trip but the new leaders half a game in front of the Indians and 1½ games ahead of the third-place Yankees.

Extra base hits were involved in the White Sox scoring in three different innings. Ron Hansen, who drew a walk off Ken McBride, the loser, was knocked in on Dave Nicholson’s line double to right center in the second inning.

After Jim Piersall’s double and McBride’s single had deadlocked the contest in the third inning, Hansen, who seems at his best when a run is needed, drove the ball into the seats for his third homer of the year in the fourth inning.

In the seventh, Pizarro slammed a 390-foot homer into the White Sox bullpen in right field.

It was the second time in less than a week the White Sox had beaten McBride, one-time nemesis of his former club. Chicago sold Ken to the Angels in the expansion deal four years ago.

White Sox manager Al Lopez said tonight he believes he has the team that can end the Yankees’ domination of the American League. Among the improvements Lopez cited were Hansen and Nicholson.

“Hansen carried us in the first part of the season,” said Lopez. “So, I put him in clean-up and I think, with his new stance, he’ll hit 40 points better than he did last year.”

Hansen, who hit only .226 last season, has opened his stance, and it seems to be the right answer.

Nicholson, who boomed a 573-foot homer the other night in Chicago, surprised the Angels when he hit two balls toward right for base hits.

“He’s a much better hitter than he was a year ago,” Lopez said. “I’m sure he’ll cut down on his strikeouts, and he’ll make us a tougher team. If anyone can beat the Yankees, and I think it can be done, we just might be the team to do it.”

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