Kaline, Cepeda Sock It to 'Em

Filed under Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals
May 6, 1968

The announcement of Detroit’s Al Kaline as American League Player of the Week surprised no one as the Tiger veteran slugged five home runs and drove in 12 runs in the week ending May 5. Orlando Cepeda was named the winner in the National League as Cha-Cha has led the Cardinals to an early five game lead in the senior circuit. Cepeda batted .464 with 6 RBI for the week. Kaline batted .435 for the week, and hit three home runs in one game on May 2 against the Twins.

In St. Louis, Bob Gibson won his sixth decision in as many starts with a 2-0 shutout over Tom Seaver and the Mets. Jim Bunning and the Pirates dropped the Braves in Atlanta, 3-1, to extend the Cardinals’ lead to five games.

In the AL, Detroit failed to take first place as the Tigers lost in Baltimore, 2-1, in ten innings. Pinch-hitter Don Buford singled home Boog Powell to spoil a fine performance by Tiger starter Joe Sparma. After defeating Minnesota with a two-hitter in his last start, Sparma pitched one hit ball over nine innings but ran out of gas in extra frames. The first place Indians lost 4-1 in New York as Tom Tresh drove in three. Oakland slid past Minnesota, 4-3, to move within a half game of the Tribe. A’s starter Jim Nash won his fourth game in as many decisions with an assist from fireman Jack Aker. Nash opened the season with 26 consecutive shutout innings before Detroit’s Dick McAuliffe led off Nash’s last start on April 30 with a home run. Dean Chance lost his fourth straight game, but pitched with a broken bone on the left side of his jaw suffered when he was struck by an errant throw before Saturday’s game in Cleveland. Chance surrender Jim Pagliaroni’s three run home run in the fourth which gave Oakland a 3-2 lead.

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