8/28-8/31 - Crosley Field
GAME 3 - Yankees 20, Reds 5
With their backs up against the wall being down 2-0 and hearing all the clamor about their so called offensive slump the '61 Yankees broke out and bombarded Joey Jay and his minion of replacements. With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the 4th the Yanks went on a offensive tear, which made Ralph Terry's (8 IP / 3 ER) afternoon a breeze. New York would hit 7 homers in total, which included 2 by Mickey Mantle, who had a drought of 2 games without a long ball. It wouldn't be an M&M Boys day without Roger Maris going deep as well. Mantle would knock in 4 runs on a day when his team would score 20 runs on 19 hits. With the game terminally out of reach Cincy let Jay Hook mop up and take one for the team to the tune of 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings.
GAME 4 - Reds 5, Yankees 3
Once again Whitey Ford pitches just good enough to get a no decision. For a while it looked like he was going to lose thanks to a 2 run 7th inning by Cincy. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with Tony Kubek on second Mantle lined a clutch single to left off Jim O'Toole to tie the game. Cincy could not score in the bottom of the inning, so the game headed to extra innings. O'Toole would pitch into the 11th inning and depart without a decision.Howie Nunn would start the top of the 12th, but never record an out as New York looked to take the lead. After walking Maris, Nunn gave up a double to Mantle to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no out. Jim Brosnan would be called upon to replace Nunn and do the impossible: Get 3 outs and not let a run score. Brosna would jam Howard, who flew out to shallow right...too shallow for Maris to tag up. Skowron would be next, and he hit a bullet to left that Ellio Chacon charged and made a running catch. Maris broke from third, but was nailed at the plate by a perfect throw to end the inning. New York missed a golden opportunity to go ahead. As it would turn it 1 run would not have made a difference. Jim Coates, who had thrown 3 scoreless innings in relief of Ford was not going to get a 4th. A lead off walk to Frank Robinson was followed by Gordy Coleman striking out looking. Gene Freese, who was the offensive hero in game 1 turned on a 1-1 offering by Coates and hit it over the left field fence for the game winner. Brosnan, who saved Howie Nunn's bacon by getting 3 outs with 2 men on was the deserved winner.
GAME 5 - Yankees 5, Reds 3
Three New York homers and a clutch relief performance by Luis Arroyo did the trick as New York was able to stave off elimination and force a game 6 back in the Bronx. Cincy's game #1 hero, Bob Purkey, reverted back to form and gave up 5 runs on 10 hits in 8 innings of work. Bill Stafford allowed just 1 run over the first 7 innings, but tired badly in the 8th when Cincy scored 2 to cut the lead to 2. Arroyo came on to face the lefty Gordy Coleman with 2 outs in the 8th and easily got him to pop out to Richardson at second. That would happen after Stafford gave up a solo shot to pinch hitter Leo Cardenas and Frank Robinson launched a bomb to deep center that Mantle was able to outrun. On the play Vada Pinson was able to score to make it 5-3. New York got on the board with a home run from an unlikely source, Tony Kubek. Solo shots by Elston Howard and Bill Skowron rounded out the power numbers. Mantle and Maris would each have two garden variety singles as the supporting cast paced the offense and help extend the series to game 6.