July 24, 1960---A bad day for the Pirates (53-37) saw them fall into second place for the first time since May 30th, .002 percentage points behind the Milwaukee Braves (52-36). The Braves won a doubleheader against Chicago while the Pirates dropped a 6-3 contest to the Giants. Willie Mays connected for his 21st HR of the year with a man aboard in the 1st inning against starter Tom Cheney. The score remained 2-0 until the 6th inning with Billy O’Dell (5-8) shutting down the Pirates. In the 6th, Bob Schmidt who, like Mays, had homered the day before, connected again for a 3-run HR off Cheney after Felipe Alou’s hit had made it a 3-0 game.
The 4-run rally made it 6-0. Earl Francis and Joe Gibbon then provided 2 scoreless innings of relief, and the Pirates entered the 9th trailing 6-0. But O’Dell, who had limited the Pirates to 2 hits, walked Groat to begin the inning and then left with a blister on his pitching hand. Reliever Johnny Antonelli then gave up a single to Clemente that sent Groat to third, and a sac fly to Stuart that made it a 6-1 game. Gino Cimoli then singled to score Clemente and make it 6-2. Billy Loes relieved Antonelli and walked Hoak. When Rocky Nelson was announced to pinch hit for Mazeroski, lefty Mike McCormick came on for SF. But Nelson singled to score Cimoli and make it 6-3 while sending Hoak to second base. With the potential tie run at the plate, McCormick then struck out Joe Christopher, batting for Bob Oldis, and Smoky Burgess, batting for Gibbon, to end the game. Cimoli (.280) had 2 of the Pirates’ hits.
It was a disappointing game for Cheney, who was making his first start since shutting out Cincinnati a week earlier. Cheney went 6 innings, giving up 6 runs on 4 hits and 6 BBs with 3 Ks. His ERA jumped to 3.51, but Francis lowered is to 2.40. Oldis made only his second start of the year behind the plate. His first start had been a week ago, catching Cheney’s shutout.