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Yanks Beat Tigers, 5-3, as Downing Shines

Sept. 8, 1963 - These Yankees are irrepressible. They win when it isn’t really necessary. Today at Yankee Stadium, they completed a sweep of the three-game set with the Tigers, 5-3, running their latest win streak to five and taking their 54th victory at home against only 18 losses in the Bronx. The triumph was the twelfth for Al Downing, the blazeballer who fanned seven. He now has 148 strikeouts in 154 innings. Al was helped by solo homers from the bats of Roger Maris and Joe Pepitone against loser Frank Lary. The one-time Yankee killer failed to beat the Yanks this year for the first time in his nine seasons in the American League. The Yankees flew to Kansas City after the game for a nine-game road trip which will bring the clincher — the magic number is down to four. Maris, who turns 29 Tuesday, will get a break in being able to spend his birthday at home with his family at Raytown, Mo., near Kansas City. Today’s win gave the Yankees the season series over the Tigers, 10-8, so the Bombers are assured of whipping all nine clubs face-to-face. Is winning over every club important? “I believe so,” manager Ralph Houk said afterward. “It helps the morale of your club. It means they can beat any type team, one which runs, one which has good pitching, or one which has big hitters. We wanted to beat them all.” Today’s crowd of 22,807 put Stadium attendance over 1,250,000 with nine dates left in the last two weeks of the season.

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