Young Joe Wins Sibling Rematch

Filed under Chicago Cubs
April 23, 1968

New season, new setting as a rematch of the Niekro brothers resulted in another 3-0 decision, this time younger brother Joe and the Chicago Cubs bested Phil and the Atlanta Braves before a sparse afternoon crowd of 4,399 at Wrigley Field. The first duel between brothers occurred with much more fanfare last season in Atlanta on July 4. In Atlanta, Phil received support from home runs by Mack Jones and Clete Boyer for a 3-0 victory. Yesterday in Chicago, Cubs third baseman Ron Santo hit his fourth home run of the season. All of Santo’s home runs this season have come with the bases empty as his RBI total matches his home run total two weeks into the season. Joe Niekro, 23, scattered six hits over nine innings and did not allow a walk while striking out four. Other National League action featured last inning victories for the Phillies and Cardinals. In Philadelphia, the Phils rallied past Juan Marichal and the Giants, 6-5, in ten innings. Johnny Callison hit a pair of home runs to spark the comeback from a five-run third inning deficit. Tony Taylor homered in the tenth off Marichal for the win. In St. Louis, Orlando Cepeda singled home Curt Flood in the ninth as the Redbirds edged the Cubs, 2-1. In New York, Jerry Koosman and the Mets defeated Houston, 7-2.

The junior circuit was not without its late inning drama either. In Anaheim, Angel first baseman Don Mincher hit his first home run of the season in the ninth to beat Washington Senators, 5-4. Nats’ first baseman Mike Epstein socked a game-tying two-run clout in the eighth. In Oakland, the Yankees, like the Mets, also won by a 7-2 score.

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