Joe McIntosh Dave Freisleben. Sonny Siebert. Randy Jones. They are not even household names in San Diego. But all were winners as the Padres took four of six games. Against the Braves, who drubbed the Padres 17 limes in 18 tries last season, McIntosh won 3-1 and Freisleben 8-2. Siebert, at age 38, outfoxed the Giants 3-1. And Jones, a 22-game loser last year when his teammates were shut out in seven of his starts, beat the Giants 2-1. RBI singles in the eighth inning by Bobby Tolan and Willie McCovey gave Jones more runs than he is accustomed to. With Danny Frisella and Dave Tomlin contributing sparkling relief, and with Dave Winfield, Tito Fuentes and Mike Ivie cracking out vital hits, the Padres clung to first place.
After promising a Giant booster club he would shut out Atlanta, John (The Count) Montefusco did just that, 5-0. Then, after telling a TV interviewer the Dodgers "won't get more than one run." he stymied L.A. 3-1. Lefty Pete Falcone, 21, earned a 4-2 victory over the Braves. Hitting with gusto, the Giants collected seven homers, three by Gary Matthews.
Los Angeles swept four games from Cincinnati (page 18), but lost Leftfielder Bill Buckner for two weeks with a badly sprained ankle. Buckner's replacement, Tom Paciorek, bruised his right hip and the seemingly indestructible Mike Marshal! separated cartilage in his left side. Don Gullett of the Reds gave up just seven hits as he downed the Padres 10-0 and the Astros 5-2. Cincinnati also bopped Houston 9-8 after being down 7-1 in the fourth inning. Tony Perez started the game-winning ninth-inning rally with his third home run of the week, Pete Rose drove in the tying run and Dave Concepcion singled across the deciding run. It was all part of an 0-6 week for the Astros, whose struggling pitching staff has given up 46 walks in 11 games.
Atlanta, 3-4, got all its wins over Houston. Phil Niekro won 6-1, Buzz Capra 5-2 and Carl Morton came out on top 2-1 after he singled in the 10th inning and scored on a hit by Mike Lum.
SD 6-3 LA 7-5 ATL 6-6
CIN 6-6 SF 5-5 HOUS 3-8
It was not Rick Monday alone who enabled first-place Chicago to win five straight during the week. Jerry Morales hit .450 and Bill Madlock .375, and between them they had 11 RBIs. Steve Stone, starting because Rick Reuschel was ill, won twice. And Darold Knowles saved 4-2 wins over Pittsburgh and New York.
Knowles was joined by other former AL pitchers in fine performances. Woodie Fryman of the Expos, a onetime Tiger, throttled the Pirates 5-0 on five singles. And Philadelphia's Jim Lonborg, late of the Red Sox, beat Montreal 3-0 with the support of former White Sox Outfielder Jay Johnstone. When Johnstone, a left-handed batter and the team comic, was told he was going to play because of strong winds blowing to right field, he was caught by surprise, for he had weighted padding and a dozen baseballs stuffed in his uniform, and his glove dangled from a rope attached to his belt. Pulling himself together, Johnstone knocked the stuffing out of the ball for a three-run homer. Rookie Tom Underwood, 21, won twice, 2-0 over St. Louis and 6-3 over Montreal.
St. Louis, 2-3 for the week, overcame Pittsburgh 5-4 when its Lively Latins got busy in the 13th inning. Keith Hernandez singled, was sacrificed along by Teddy Martinez and scored on a pinch hit by Luis Melendez.
During spring training Dock Ellis of the Pirates had a glorious 0.25 ERA, Bruce Kison an atrocious 6.93. Last week Ellis was shelled for the second time in a row, and Kison downed the Mets 5-3 on three hits.
After being pulled for a pinch hitter with Pittsburgh leading 3-2 in the seventh, New York's Tom Seaver said some things about his teammates' fielding and about Yogi Berra's managing. Seaver bemoaned the poor defensive support he received and questioned Berra's wisdom in yanking him. After the Cubs beat him 4-2, Seaver admitted, "I was mediocre." All was not lost, though. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 14-7 and got some decent relief pitching for a change, rookie Rick Baldwin hurling 5‚Öî strong innings: Unlike Seaver, Baldwin felt he got plenty of support, and not only from the Met offense. "I prayed," Baldwin said. "I never could have done it without Him."
CHI 7-1 ST.L 6-4 PHIL 5-5
PITT 4-4 MONT 3-7 NY 2-6
"Gaylord and I have an understanding," said Milwaukee's Henry Aaron of Cleveland's Perry. "If he makes good pitches, he gets me out. If he makes bad ones, I hit them out." Three times Perry made good pitches and three times Aaron struck out. But when he made a bad one Henry jumped on it for his first AL homer and the 734th of his career in a 5-1 win. The Brewers, 3-2, took the lead in the East, Billy Champion picking up a couple of neat wins, a 3-0 two-hitter in Cleveland and a 7-1 five-hitter against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Otherwise the Orioles were strong, winning three games as four NL transplants excelled. In an 11-3 romp over the Red Sox, Ken Singleton drove in three runs, and Mike Torrez, who was with Singleton on the Expos last year, got the win. Ex-Astro Mike Cuellar beat the Brewers 2-0, and another former Houstonian, Lee May, had seven RBIs in a 9-7 victory in Boston.
Centerfielder Fred Lynn, 23, went 9 for 15 (.600), had three homers and drove in seven runs as Boston split four games. Jim Rice. 22, took over as designated hitter from Tony Conigliaro and promptly walloped two balls over the wall. Bill Lee, using a blooper-type pitch he calls "a sludge curve," beat New York 5-3.
In Cleveland's lone win in three outings, Gaylord Perry beat Milwaukee 3-1 for his 200th career triumph. Boog Powell said the shocking-red home uniforms worn by the Indians made him feel "like a massive blood clot." Other Indians felt the same and petitioned management for blue shirts to go with their vermilion trousers.
Another ponderer of uniforms, Walt (No Neck) Williams, a 5'6" utility man for New York, said, "If a guy looks good in his uniform, if he's big and handsome, they think of him as a starter. Me, I'm bowlegged and short and they say, 'Man, he can't play every day.' " Maybe he can't, but No Neck's hitting .556. A Yankee official said the team would not change to bright new duds because their pinstripes are "well, chiseled in stone, cast in bronze." Catfish Hunter? In his second and third defeats, against no victories, he was tagged for 15 hits and 11 runs in 10‚Öî innings, raising his ERA to 7.32. But Bobby Bonds' somnolent bat awoke: he stroked three hits, including a three-run homer, in an 11-3 win over the Tigers. Doc Medich, who earlier had stopped Detroit 6-0, earned that victory.
Just as he had in his first at bat against Hunter the week before, Willie Horton of the Tigers hit a home run, this time-a three-run blast that highlighted an 8-3 win.
MIL 6-3 BOS 5-3 BALT 4-3
DET 4-3 CLEV 2-4 NY 2-7
"I'm a firm believer in the wind," said Amos Otis of the Royals. "They say, 'When the wind blows, Otis will go.' When it's blowing, I try to hit home runs. When it isn't, I just go for base hits." Otis took advantage of the wind when he homered in Texas. With Harmon Killebrew, a .368 hitter for the week, doing likewise, the Royals clipped the Rangers 5-3. Steve Busby got the win, his second 5-3 triumph of the week; his first was over the Twins. In building a 5-1 week and taking over first place, Kansas City won two of three contests from Oakland. George Brett, who batted .409, doubled in the ninth inning to send across the winning run as the Royals beat the A's 4-3. The next day, with Nelson Briles tossing a five-hitter, Kansas City again put down the A's, 6-2.
Oakland, although still aglow with its newfound harmony, lost three of five games. Reggie Jackson was on first base when Joe Rudi blooped a single but got a late start for second and was thrown out. Jackson's tardiness wiped out Rudi's hit and prompted him to say, "I'm sorry for Joe. It was my fault." Rollie Fingers gained his fourth save when he preserved Vida Blue's 4-1 drubbing of the Twins. With the cooperation of more bumbling base running by the A's, the Twins had beaten them earlier 5-4. Oakland managed not to win that one despite a homer, double, single, walk and a Minnesota error in the ninth. A's runners were thrown out at third and home to abort the rally.
The Rangers, too, got their feet tangled on the base paths. In a 5-3 loss to the Royals, two Rangers were caught taking wide turns past first base. One was picked off first and another was out trying to stretch a dinky single into a double. During a three-game blitz of the White Sox the Texans accumulated 27 runs and 40 hits, and in one game they stole five bases. Jim Umbarger, who a year ago was pitching for Arizona State, did not yield an earned run in 10‚Öî innings.
Chicago started off by taking a double-header from California, 7-5 in 12 innings, and 5-4. From there on it was all downhill and the Sox could not find the brakes. Suffering the most in the plunge to the cellar was Wilbur Wood, who gave up 13 runs in 11 innings. His record is now 0-4.
California, 2-3, displayed its considerable speed, primarily the swiftness of Nolan Ryan's fastball and the fleetness of its runners' feet. Ryan won his third game without a loss, beating Minnesota 7-3 despite walking nine batters. Speed on the bases produced the winning run for the Angels when Bruce Bochte stole third and scored on a throwing error. In a 6-5 conquest of the White Sox the clinching run was scored by Lee Stanton, who stole second, continued to third on a throwing error on that play, and came in on a passed ball. In all, the Angels stole five bases in that game and 13 during the week. Said Manager Dick Williams, "This is the best running team I've ever seen."
KC 8-2 OAK 6-4 CAL 5-4
MINN 4-6 TEX 4-6 CHI 3-8