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Yankees Sweep Doubleheader from Athletics, 11-9 and 8-0

May 17, 1964 - The Athletics changed suits between games today, switching from seafoam green to Fort Knox gold. But they didn’t fool the Yankees, who could drub them in any attire. The Bombers whaled them, 11-9 and 8-0, to take the slug-happy series, 3-1.

This was the heaviest-hitting weekend in the Bronx in many years. Between them, the two teams mauled 25 pitchers for 83 hits, 27 of them for extra bases. The Yanks belted eight homers, three doubles, and four triples, while the A’s struck for two home runs, seven doubles, and three triples. The odd part of the picture is that two of the games were shutouts.

Nine alleged pitchers took the bloodbath in today’s opener. They were so bad that the official scorer had to give the victory to Hal Reniff, the fourth Yankee flinger, although he worked only 1⅓ innings. He had to give it to somebody. Perhaps he should have given it to charity.

The Yankees hit all four of today’s homers, Mickey Mantle and Tom Tresh connecting in the opener and Joe Pepitone getting two in the second game.

It remained for Whitey Ford, pitcher-coach, to restore some artistry to the mound with his shutout in the nightcap. Ford, as coach, had suffered through a dismal display in the opener. Bill Stafford could hold a 6-0 lead, and Bud Daley and Pete Mikkelsen could not prosper with a seven-run edge, which the A’s whittled from 11-5 to the final score.

Ford elected to pitch the second game, the first time he’s done so in 10 years.

“I had a couple reasons,” he said afterward. “I figured that [Orlando] Peña would work it for them, and I felt we might need a well-pitched game. And because we seem to get a lot of runs in the first game of doubleheaders, when the guys are fresh, but have to struggle in the second games, like in Cleveland and Washington recently.”

Did the shadows from the triple deck which cut across the area between the mound and the plate help him?

“Only the first time around,” said Whitey. “Once the shadow area was over my head, there was no trouble seeing the ball [by the batter]. I did notice it early.”

Although the bullpen staff looked like a ragged battalion, manager Yogi Berra says no changes are in sight. “Not as long as you win those games,” he added. “These days happen, when everybody is bad at once.”

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