This Week in 1960s Baseball
(May 29, 1961) At Fenway Park in Boston, the Red Sox tonight defeated the New York Yankees 2-1 behind the five-hit pitching of left-hander Ike Delock (3-1).
Delock struck out seven Yankee batters and walked none in out-dueling Yankee Starter Whitey Ford (6-2). The loss snapped Ford’s personal six-game winning streak.
Delock shut out the Yankees for the first six innings, allowing just two hits. With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Mickey Mantle launched a home run to the right field seats with the bases empty, tying the game. It was Mantle’s eleventh home run of the season.
Jensen walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and moved to second on Frank Malzone’s ground out. Ford walked Jim Pagliaroni and then gave up a single to Vic Wertz. Yankee left fielder Bob Cerv snared the line drive on the first hop and fired the ball to Clete Boyer, who relayed the ball to second baseman Bobby Richardson to force Pagliaroni out at second.
However, the out at second allowed Jensen to score and put the Red Sox ahead 2-1. It would be the last run scored by either team.
Delock allowed lead-off singles in both the eighth and ninth innings. But a double play in the eighth and two strikeouts in the ninth kept the Yankees from scoring.
Delock would win two more games in June and then win only one more decision to finish the 1961 season at 6-9.
Ford wouldn’t lose another decision until the middle of August. He would win all eight of his starts in June, a record that has never been matched. He would go 5-0 in July and win his twentieth game in August before finally losing to the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on August 15.
The 1961 season would be the finest in Ford’s Hall of Fame career. The Yankee southpaw would finish the season at 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA, leading the major leagues in victories, starts (39), innings pitched (283) and winning percentage (.862). He would also take the Cy Young Award as baseball’s best pitcher.