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Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 03:19 am UTC
1960 Revisited - July 17   
By Bobster

July 17, 1960---The Pirates and Reds split a doubleheader. The Reds took game 1 behind Bob Purkey when they scored 1 in the 5th and 5 in the 6th against Vern Law (11-5) to take a 6-0 lead. That was all the runs the Reds would get, as Green, Gibbon and Face combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. The Pirates made it 6-1 in the 6th when Reds second baseman Billy Martin-the future Yankees manager-booted Nelsonís grounder after the Bucs had loaded the bases on singles by Virdon and Groat and a walk to Skinner.

The Reds opened the 7th with 3 straight singles off Green but did not score. Vada Pinson, who opened the inning with a single, was thrown at third by Clemente on the next hit. It was Clementeís 10th assist of the season. Green ended the inning by getting Frank Robinson to ground into a DP. The Pirates closed to within 6-5 in the 8th when they scored 4 times, highlighted by Rocky Nelsonís 3-run HR after Groat and Skinner had singled. It was Nelsonís 6th HR of the season. The Bucs added the fourth run of the inning when Clemente singled, took second when Burgess reached on another error by Martin and scored on Mazeroskiís single. But relievers Bob Grim and Jim Brosnan shut the door to preserve the 6-5 win for Purkey (9-5). Nelson had 4 RBIs in the game (giving him 22 for the season) and Groat had 4 hits.

Game 1 Starting lineup:

Virdon CF
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Nelson 1B
Clemente RF
Smith C
Hoak 3B
Mazeroski 2B
Law P

Don Newcombe was scheduled to start game 2 for the Reds but was ejected before the first pitch for arguing with the umpire about the length of the pitcher's shirt sleeves. Cal McLish (3-6) was the emergency starter for Cincinnati. Bill Virdon led off the bottom of the 1st inning against McLish with his 3rd HR of the year to give Tom Cheney a 1-0 lead. That was all the rookie right-hander would need as he pitched a complete game, 5-0 shutout. Cheney (2-1) gave up 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out one. The Bucs (51-33) gave Cheney some insurance with 2 runs in the 5th when Groat and Clemente singled and scored on Hoakís double. The Pirates scored 2 more in the 8th when Bob Oldis singled with 2 outs, Cheney doubled home Oldis, and Cheney scored on a single by Virdon. Virdon (.266) and Groat (.326) had 3 hits apiece and Nelson (.317) and Clemente each had a pair (.324). Groat was 7-for-10 in the doubleheader. Burgess was nursing a minor knee injury, so third-string catcher Bob Oldis (.200) made his first start of the year, going 1-for-4 and scoring his 1st run of the season. Despite being with the team all season, Oldis had only 10 at-bats so far. He was primarily used for late inning defense. Burgess was not strong defensively, and Murtaugh platooned Smith and Burgess depending on the lefty/righty matchup. Having Oldis as the 3rd string catcher enabled Murtaugh to replace his catcher after pinch running or pinch hitting and still have another catcher in reserve. And since the Pirates carried only 10 pitchers, there was room on the roster for a third catcher.

Game 2 Starting lineup:

Virdon CF
Groat SS
Skinner LF
Nelson 1B
Clemente RF
Hoak 3B
Mazeroski 2B
Oldis C
Cheney P

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