Tigers Nip Frustrated Cards Again, 4-3.

Filed under World Series
October 3, 1968
Willie Horton’s home run in the 4th turned out to be the game-winner as the Tigers nipped the Cardinals once again for a two game advantage in the Series.

St. Louis, Oct. 3 – Willie Horton hit a solo home run in the fourth inning which decided tilted another one-run affair in the favor of the Detroit Tigers over the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-3, for a sixth straight game. The Tigers take control of the Series with a two-game advantage heading back to Motown for a possible clincher in the next three games.

Detroit leapt to a three-run lead in the first inning as it appeared this game may take a different turn than the previous five Series games. Dick McAuliffe opened with a free pass from Cardinals starter Nelson Briles. Mickey Stanley blooped a single over short, and Al Kaline followed with a run-scoring single to left. Norm Cash stunned the Redbirds with a sacrifice bunt, and Willie Horton cashed in with a two-run single in the left center field gap. It appeared Lou Brock’s throw home beat Kaline to the plate, but catcher Tim McCarver dropped the throw allowing Kaline to score. Before the sellout crowd of 54,692 could settle in their seats, the Tigers had roared to a 3-0 lead.

The home club responded as a champion does in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs to cut the deficit to a familiar one run. A pair of triples by leadoff hitters Brock and Curt Flood, followed by a single off the bat of Orlando Cepeda, niftily trim the Tigers lead. The starters, Mickey Lolich of Detroit and Briles of St. Louis, settled down for the next few frames until Willie Horton, who had struck out four times against hero Bob Gibson in Game One, launched a solo home run to extend the Tigers’ lead.

Horton eventually chased Briles in the fifth inning with a single, his third hit of the game. But, reliever Steve Carlton induced a double play off the bat of Jim Northrup to end any threat. The Cardinals rallied in the sixth when Flood coaxed a one-out walk from Lolich. After Cepeda grounded out to first, Mike Shannon continued his hot streak with a double off the wall in right field, and Flood advanced to third. But, Lolich clamped down and struck out McCarver to end the inning.

In the eighth, Detroit manager Mayo Smith substituted Ray Oyler for Mickey Stanley at shortstop, moved Stanley to his home in center field, and shifted Northrup to left in place of Horton. Brock led off the inning with a chopper to second for an infield single. In last year’s Series, Brock on the bases was neutralized by Bill Freehan, but this year, Brock stole second base and advanced easily to third on a Julian Javier fly out to Stanley. With the infield in, Flood failed to bring Brock home with a worm killer to the mound, and Cepeda flew harmlessly to center to dash the hopes of the Redbirds’ faithful. The pair of Ron Willis and Joe Hoerner kept the Tigers off the bases in the final four frames, but the Cardinals failed to cash again against Lolich. A failure that may again cost them the Series.

The clubs will proceed to Detroit for the next three games. Cy Young winner Earl Wilson will pair up with Gibson’s sidekick, Ray Washburn, as the Cardinals look to repeat the path of the Dodgers two seasons ago by winning the Series after dropping the first two games at home.

10/3/1968, DET68-STL68, Busch Stadium

                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
1968 Detroit           3  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0     4  9  0     6  0
1968 St. Louis         2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0     3  5  2     5  1

Detroit              AB  R  H BI   AVG    St. Louis            AB  R  H BI   AVG
McAuliffe         2b  4  1  0  0  .125    Brock             lf  4  1  2  0  .250
Stanley           ss  4  1  2  0  .375    Javier            2b  4  0  0  0  .000
Kaline            rf  4  1  1  1  .125    Flood             cf  3  2  1  1  .286
Cash              1b  3  0  0  0  .167    Cepeda            1b  4  0  1  1  .125
Horton            lf  4  1  3  2  .375    Shannon           3b  3  0  1  1  .571
 Oyler            ss  0  0  0  0  .000    McCarver          c   4  0  0  0  .000
Northrup          cf  4  0  1  0  .375    Davis             rf  4  0  0  0  .000
Freehan           c   4  0  1  0  .125    Maxvill           ss  3  0  0  0  .200
Wert              3b  3  0  0  0  .000    Briles            p   0  0  0  0  .000
Lolich            p   4  0  1  0  .250     Carlton          p   0  0  0  0  .000
                     34  4  9  3           Gagliano         ph  1  0  0  0  .000
                                           Willis           p   0  0  0  0  .000
                                           Spiezio          ph  1  0  0  0  .000
                                           Hoerner          p   0  0  0  0  .000
                                                               31  3  5  3

Detroit                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Lolich           W 1-0           9.0  5  3  3  3  7 116  75  3.00
                                 9.0  5  3  3  3  7 116  75

St. Louis                        INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Briles           L 0-1           4.1  8  4  4  1  3  82  53  8.31
Carlton                          0.2  0  0  0  0  0   2   1  0.00
Willis                           2.0  0  0  0  0  1  27  18  0.00
Hoerner                          2.0  1  0  0  0  2  23  16  0.00
                                 9.0  9  4  4  1  6 134  88

DET: Stanley moved to cf in the 8th
     Oyler inserted at ss in the 8th
     Northrup moved to lf in the 8th
STL: Gagliano batted for Carlton in the 5th
     Spiezio batted for Willis in the 7th

E-Javier, McCarver. 2B-Shannon(1). 3B-Brock(1), Flood(1). HR-Horton(1).
RBI-Kaline(1), Horton 2(2), Flood(1), Cepeda(1), Shannon(2). SB-Brock(1),
Davis(1). K-McAuliffe, Cash 2, Northrup, Lolich 2, Brock, Flood, Shannon,
McCarver 2, Maxvill 2. BB-McAuliffe, Flood, Shannon, Maxvill. SH-Cash, Wert,
Briles.
GWRBI: Kaline
Temperature: 58, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: left to right at 4 MPH.

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