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Yanks and Chisox Split Doubleheader

Aug. 25, 1963 - A pair of brilliant young lefthanders dominated the long double bill at Yankee Stadium today as the White Sox and Yankees split. New York’s Al Downing (pictured) fired a two-hitter in which he fanned 13 to win the opener, 4-0, then Chicago’s Gary Peters went all the way to his 10th straight victory in the 2-1 nightcap, which took 12 innings. The split earned the Yanks the season edge on the Chisox and left their league led at 11½ games. Chicago dropped back to third place, with the Twins moving above them. The Stadium crowd rooted hard for Downing to get a no-hitter, which he had for seven innings. The gifted kid from Trenton actually had a perfect game until Tony Kubeck fumbled a grounder with two out in the seventh. Elston Howard helped his battery mate with a pair of homers and three runs scored. Peters should have had a shutout in nine innings too. The Yankee run in the seventh was not his fault. Jim Landis lost a fly by Hector Lopez in the setting sun in center field, and Phil Linz singled in Lopez. Downing, 22, has fanned 136 in 130⅔ innings, and the shutout was the fourth among his 10 victories. “I’d like to pitch a no-hitter,” Al said afterward. “I thought I had a good chance today. My breaking stuff was good. [Ron] Hansen hit a fastball up high. [Dave] Nicholson’s hit came on a good pitch, a low fastball.” Asked if he was disappointed when Kubek blew Nicholson’s roller and erased the perfect game, Al answered: “Well, errors are part of the game. That’s why the E column is in the box score. Besides, Tony had to hurry with the play because Nicholson can run.” Asked why he’d like to pitch a no-hitter, Downing laughed: “To get into the Hall of Fame. I’d like to have my name in the records that way. Anyway, you’re trying to pitch a no-hitter every time you pitch. That’s what you’re there for, to keep them from hitting.” Downing didn’t think his stuff was the best it had been this season, but added: “I pitched more with my head today than I have in any game.”


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