July 3, 1960
July 3, 1960---A Sunday afternoon against Don Drysdale was no picnic. Drysdale (5-10) limited the Pirates to 2 runs on 7 hits with a walk and 8 Ks. Drysdale got all the runs he needed in a 4-run 3rd inning. A double by Junior Gilliam, a single by Charlie Neal, a force out, singles by Frank Howard, Gil Hodges and Tommy Davis, and then Maury Wills’ double kayoed Vinegar Bend Mizell (3-2). Mizell was replaced in the 3rd by Earl Francis, who was now pitching for the 3rd time in 4 days. The Pirates made it a 4-1 game in the 4th when Smoky Burgess reached 2nd base when Neal dropped his fly ball in right field and then scored on a single by Don Hoak. But the Dodgers got that run back against Francis in the 7th when Wills reached on a force out, stole second and scored on a single by Joe Pignatano. The Pirates (43-27) made it 5-2 in the 7th when Bill Mazeroski singled, advanced to 2nd when pinch hitter Dick Schofield was hit by a pitch, and scored on Bob Skinner’s single.
The Dodgers (35-36) closed out the scoring in the 8th when Hodges hit his 5th HR of the season off Elroy Face to make it a 6-2 game. This was Don Drysdale’s first win since he beat the Pirates on May 25th. Since then, he had dropped 6 straight decisions. Skinner (.309) had 2 hits in the game for Pittsburgh. Rookie Earl Francis was getting a real workout. He pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief, yielding 1 run on 4 hits. Since joining the Pirates, he had now pitched 10 1/3 innings in 3 appearances during the last 4 days (an ERA of 3.48).
Starting lineup: Virdon CF, Groat SS, Skinner LF, Stuart 1B, Clemente RF, Burgess C, Hoak 3B, Mazeroski 2B, Mizell P
NOTE: Former Pirate pitcher Earl Francis died on July 3, 2002 age 66 after a long illness. Called up briefly during the 1960 season, Francis provided excellent relief work for the Bucs, compiling a 1-0 record with a 2.00 ERA. Francis became a regular member of the Pirates in 1961, appearing in 23 games, 15 as a starter. He had his best season in 1962, going 9-8 with a 3.07 ERA. He was the Bucs’ opening day starting pitcher in 1963.