Doug Rau, Mike Marshall and Jimmy Wynn have a share-the-ride system when driving to Dodger Stadium. Despite their divergent tastes, there is no argument about what music to listen to in the car, that being the prerogative of the driver. Says Rau: "Mike likes classical, Jimmy soul-brother stuff, and I like country music." The three pooled their talents for a 4-1 victory over the Padres in a 5-2 Dodger week, Rau earning the win, Marshall saving it and Wynn pounding out four hits. Andy Messersmith beat Houston 6-1 and San Diego 4-3 for his 10th and 11th victories, and Don Sutton won No. 11, curbing Houston 4-2.
Cincinnati, winning five of six, retained its three-game lead but lost its top pitcher, lefthander Don Gullet (9-3), for a month or more when he broke his left thumb. Johnny Bench hit five doubles; he now has 27 and a good shot at the major league record for catchers (42).
Sunday was doubly disappointing for San Diego fans: the Padres lost 6-0 to the Mets and for the fourth time they were denied the free hamburgers Owner Ray Kroc has promised whenever the team wins on that day. But the Padres (2-5) were encouraged by Brent Strom, who came up from Hawaii and limited the Dodgers to four hits in a 2-1 win.
For the Giants (3-4) Randy Moffitt has been strong in relief, with 11‚Öî scoreless innings in his last seven appearances.
Dave May of the Braves hit a grand-slam homer in a 5-1 win over the Reds (Carl Morton pitching a three-hitter) and homered in a 4-2 defeat of the Giants. Tom House saved the Giant game with three innings of perfect relief, coming in with the bases loaded.
Back in February, Houston Manager Preston Gomez said, "To be a winner all we need to do is reverse our records against Los Angeles and Cincinnati. We were 9-27 against them last year." Sad to say, last week the Astros lost five in a row to these nemeses; their 1975 record against them is now 3-14.
CIN 42-26 LA 40-30 SF 32-34 SD 31-36 ATL 28-38 HOUS 24-47
This is no ball park, it's an insane asylum." That was Phillie Manager Danny Ozark's assessment of Wrigley Field after four nerve-scraping games there with the Cubs. The Phillies blew 5-1 and 5-0 leads in losing the first two, 9-7 and 9-5. They also frittered away leads in the other two, but a two-run pinch homer by Tommy Hutton gave them a 9-7 win in one and three runs in the 14th made them 6-3 winners in the other. Jay Johnstone hit .421 and Dave Cash .419, and Greg Luzinski took the league lead in homers, at 15, hitting three. On top in batting was Chicago's Bill Madlock, whose .375 week lifted him to .352. Another Cub hitting with oomph was Jerry Morales, who batted .406 for the week with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Montreal, winning six of eight, had its best week of the season. Gary Carter drove in 11 runs and hit .517. Nate Colbert was obtained from Detroit, thinned his sideburns, shaved off his Fu Manchu and, even before his name was announced at Jarry Park, got a standing ovation. He responded by running through a stop sign at third base and sliding home with the run that beat the Mets 7-6.
And there was no catching the Pirates, who lost but once. Dave Parker continued to torment the Cardinals, batting .438 against them to bring his career average versus St. Louis to .442. Pittsburgh's suspect pitching shaped up as Jerry Reuss beat St. Louis 5-0 to lower his ERA to 2.37. And newcomer John Candelaria, a 6'7" lefty from Staten Island, feasted on lasagna at home and then the Mets, 5-1.
St. Louis and New York both lost five of seven. After a major league-record 303 successive starts, Bob Gibson of the Cardinals was used in relief. He pitched well enough to earn a start against the Cubs, but lost 6-1. Tom Seaver blanked San Diego for his 10th victory and ran his scoreless-inning streak to 28 before the Pirates' Willie Stargell hit a homer, the 358th of his career.
PITT 38-24 PHIL 35-30 NY 32-29 CHI 33-32 ST. L 29-33 MONT 27-32
The division had a little of everything: recycled pitchers, starters turned reliever, accusations of signal stealing, the benching of last year's MVP and a heart-to-heart, let's-sort-it-out team meeting. Most successful, as usual, were the A's, who won five of seven. In recent weeks they have received a lift from Jim Perry, Sonny Siebert and Dick Bosman, old hands new to the team, who have come through with effective pitching. So last week the A's tried again, obtaining Stan Bahnsen from the White Sox. Sure enough, he beat the Royals 3-1.
Four of Oakland's wins came in a five-game series in Minnesota. Helping the Twins salvage a 4-4 week were relievers Ray Corbin and Bill Campbell, both of whom started and won. Rookie Centerfielder Dan Ford muscled into the Twins' lineup with a .429 bat and five home runs.
Dick Williams, the Angel skipper, accused the Royals of stealing signs and, by whistling, alerting K.C. batters to what pitches to expect. Steve Busby won that affair 3-2 and then put down the A's 4-1.
Owner Brad Corbett has been losing weight (40 pounds in a month) almost as fast as his Rangers have been losing games recently. Unlike the A's, the Rangers (3-4) got no boost from a middle-aged pitcher they picked up. Gaylord Perry came over from the Indians and was shelled twice, blowing a 6-0 lead in one game. In a desperation move, Jeff Burroughs, last season's MVP, was benched because he was hitting .171 at home.
With Nolan Ryan out because of a groin injury, California's Frank Tanana earned some strikeout marks by fanning 17 Rangers, a league record for lefthanders, en route to a 4-2 win. Rookie Leftfielder Dave Collins brought his average up to .396 with a .500 week that included five hits in a 12-11 win over Texas in 11 innings.
Chicago Manager Chuck Tanner, an utterly frustrated man, called a team meeting and asked for ideas on how to get the club out of last place. Suggestions were forthcoming, but results were not: the White Sox lost five of six
OAK 40-26 KC 38-29 MINN 31-31 TEX 33-33 CAL 33-36 CHI 26-38
Before a game in Detroit, Boston's Fred Lynn went downtown for a walk. That night he took Tiger pitchers downtown for three homers in the most torrid single-game batting spree in years. Lynn also had a triple and single, and became the second rookie ever to get 10 RBIs in a game, which the Sox won 15-1. (Norm Zauchin of Boston had 10 in 1955.) Lynn's 16 total bases set a major league mark for a rookie and tied the league record. Other Sox chipped in to build a 5-1 week, Rico Petrocelli hitting .478 and Carl Yastrzemski .458. "This team just doesn't believe it can lose," said Yaz. Suiting deeds to words, the Sox scored four runs in the eighth to down the Royals 8-7, four in the 12th to subdue the Tigers 6-2 and stopped the Orioles 4-3 in 12 innings.
New York's depleted outfield suffered more casualties: erstwhile Catcher Rick Dempsey and newcomer Kerry Dineen, both .364 hitters, were felled by injuries. But the Yankees, 5-3, got two wins from Catfish Hunter, three home runs from Graig Nettles and a two-out homer in the ninth from Ed Herrmann that shocked the Brewers 4-2.
Six players contributed mightily as Milwaukee took five of eight. Jim Slaton won twice, Bill Travers had a win and a save and Tom Murphy had his 13th and 14th saves. Providing the offense were Gorman Thomas (.423, 12 RBIs, five homers), Bobby Darwin (.400) and Robin Yount (.382).
"My wife told me not to come home if I wasn't hitting my weight," said Brooks Robinson of Baltimore. Robinson, a 200-pounder, did not satisfy that requirement until the final game of a road trip, two hits raising him to .208 in a 13-6 romp over the Indians. At long last, the Orioles got their first save when Grant Jackson finished up Jim Palmer's 8-3 win over the Indians. Next time out Palmer needed no assistance, finessing Boston 3-0 for his sixth shutout and 12th victory.
Both the Tigers and Indians were 1-5. Detroit pitchers were hammered for 50 runs, their Indian counterparts for 44. What should have been a laugher for the Tigers became a seat-squirmer when they almost wasted a 7-0 lead before squelching the Yankees 10-9. Three homers by Boog Powell of the Indians brought his total to 11.
BOS 36-25 NY 36-29 MIL 33-31 BALT 29-33 DET 26-35 CLEV 24-39