There were just 2875 spectators at Briggs Stadium in Detroit to go to a Thursday matinee game between the Tigers and the last place Washington Senators. The Senators had lost 10 straight, but they were finally able to pick up a win in the month of May with an 8-5 win and give manager Cookie Lavagetto his first win after taking over the job for Chuck Dressen on May 7.
The Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second as an error by Eddie Yost led to Camilo Pascual giving up an unearned run. But in the top of the third, Roy Sievers slammed a three-run home run off of Frank Lary to give the Senators a lead they would never relinquish.
Pascual was far from sharp, giving up 11 hits and walking two, but he went the distance and became the first Washington pitcher to win two games on the season. Pascual would finish the year 8-17 with a 4.10 ERA, the lowest ERA of any Washington starter.
Washington right fielder Jim Lemon had two long drives chased down in center by Jim Tuttle, but in the ninth Lemon hit the flagpole in centerfield (which was in play) and ended up with a triple and scored Washington's final run. Yost would go 4 for 4 with a walk. Yost had walked 151 times in 1956, but injuries limited his playing time in 1957 and he finished with just 73. Yost had an OBP of .370.
While the Senators would finish 1957 in last place with a 55-99 record, Sievers did provide some highlights. Sievers led the AL in home runs with 42 and RBI with 114. Sievers finished third in the MVP voting behind winner Mickey Mantle and runnerup Ted Williams. Sievers would hit 39 home runs and drive in 108 in 1958, but would never again put together a year like 1957.
Detroit fared better in 1957, finishing 78-76, good for fourth place in the AL. Despite having a lineup featuring Al Kaline and Harvey Kuenn, no Tiger regular batted over .300. Kaline led the regulars with a .295 average. Charlie Maxwell led in home runs with 24.
Lary would go 11-16 in 1957. Jim Bunning was the staff ace, going 20-8 with a 2.69 ERA. The Tigers earned their nearly .500 record as they both scored and allowed 614 runs on the season. The Tigers were 75-68 late in the year, but then lost 10 of 13 down the stretch.
The Senators started Pete Runnels at first base and he batted .230 in 1957. In the offseason, Runnels was traded to Boston for Albie Pearson and Norm Zauchin. Runnels proceeded to hit over .300 in five straight seasons for the Red Sox and won the batting title in 1960 and 1962.
Starting in center field on this day for Washington was Whitey Herzog. Herzog would play in just 36 games with the Senators in 1957 and batted just .167. 21-year old Harmon Killebrew was in Chattanooga most of the season and got into just 9 games with the big club. He would not become a regular until 1959. He would be the only player on this Senators team who would still be with the franchise when it won the AL pennant as the Minnesota Twins in 1965. Kaline would be the only Tiger player still on the team in 1968 when the Tigers won their next pennant.
Sources: Washington Post, Baseball-Reference, Retrosheet