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Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 06:51 am UTC
1960 Revisited - August 16   
By Bobster

August 16, 1960---A crowd of 34,673 at Forbes Field watched the Pirates (70-43) win a doubleheader from the Phillies. The 2 wins gave the Pirates a 7Ĺ game lead over both the second-place Milwaukee Braves and St.Louis Cardinals. In game 1, the Pirates responded to a run by the Phillies in the top of the first with 5 of their own in the bottom of the inning. Virdon opened the Pirate first inning with a walk but was caught stealing.

Phillies starter Jim Owens (3-11) then walked Groat, and Skinner followed with an infield hit. Nelson advanced the runners with a ground out to second and Clemente drove them both in with a single. Smith followed with a single. Then Hoak singled in Clemente. That was all for Owens, who didnít make it through the first inning, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. Al Nelger relieved Owens and was greeted by Mazeroskiís 2-run double. Nelger gave up 2 more runs in the second on a single by Groat, a double by Skinner, a sac fly by Nelson and a triple by Clemente. With the Bucs up 7-1 in the 4th, it didnít even matter that Dick Stuart pinch ran for Nelson and was promptly picked off first base by Phillies catcher Clay Dalrymple. The Bucs made it 8-2 in the 6th when Groat singled, went to third on an error and scored on a sac fly by Stuart. The Pirates added 3 more against Dallas Green in the eighth when Virdon walked, Groat singled and Skinner connected for a 3-run HR. The Pirates had 15 hits as they won 11-2. Bob Friend (13-9) went the distance for the 12th time, striking out 5. Groat, Skinner and Clemente (.314) had 3 hits apiece. Skinner took the team lead in HRs by hitting his 14th. He and Clemente each had 3 RBIs. Groat scored 4 times. Smith (.302) and Hoak (.270) each had a pair of hits.

Game 1 Starting lineup:

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

Game 2 was considerably closer. The Phillies took a 2-0 lead against Joe Gibbon with single runs in the first and third. The Pirates tied it with a pair of third-inning runs against Robin Roberts when Gibbon singled and Virdon circled the bases on a triple and an error. Philadelphia regained the lead, 3-2, in the fourth, and the Bucs tied it 3-3 in the sixth as Skinner doubled and Clemente singled. Elroy Face relieved Gibbon in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, tied 3-3, Groat led off with a bunt single. Skinner attempted to sacrifice but was safe with a bunt single. Then Nelson attempted to sacrifice and was also safe with a bunt single, loading the bases. Roberts (8-11) then walked Clemente to force in the go-ahead run. Face (7-6) held the lead in the ninth and earned the victory. Groat (.326) had 3 hits in the game, as he went 6 for 8 in the twin-bill. Skinner (.285) and Nelson (.301) each had 2 hits.

Game 2 Starting lineup:

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

The Pirates (70-43) now led the Cardinals (63-51) and Braves (61-49) by 7.5 games and the Dodgers (60-49) by 8.

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