With Larry Parrish (sore right wrist) joining Ellis Valentine (fractured left cheekbone) on the disabled list, the Expos (6-1) seemed about to buckle under. Instead, they knuckled down. Gary Carter slammed his 10th and 11th home runs, Andre Dawson had eight RBIs, and the Expos had 12 stolen bases, six by Ron LeFlore. And three extra-inning wins moved Montreal to the top of the division, three percentage points ahead of Pittsburgh. Warren Cromartie's single in the 12th finished off the Cardinals 7-6; Bob Pate drew a bases-loaded walk in the 13th to defeat the Cubs 8-7; and Bill Almon's joy came when he singled in the 13th to beat St. Louis 2-1. In all, the fast-finishing Expos scored 23 of their 36 runs after the sixth inning. The bullpen excelled, too, with Woodie Fryman extending his scoreless-inning streak to 23; he gave up just two hits and struck out 10 in 9‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬® innings.
Dale Berra's grand slam and five RBIs helped the Pirates (3-3) drub the Mets 13-3, and four steals by Omar Moreno led to a 9-3 victory over the Phillies. Another defeat of Philadelphia came when Willie Stargell hit his first homer in seven years off Tug McGraw to tie the score at 3-3 in the eighth and Ed Ott singled in the tie-breaker in the 10th. After league President Chub Feeney rejected Buc Third Baseman Bill Madlock's appeal of a Feeney ruling that Madlock would have to serve a 15-day suspension and pay a $5,000 fine for shoving his glove in an umpire's face on May 1, Madlock filed another appeal, with Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Four days later Madlock thought better of it all and decided to take his medicine.
Steve Carlton of the Phillies (3-3) rarely talks to the media, but last week he spoke with his old pal Tim McCarver, a catcher-turned-sportscaster. After a 4-3 triumph in Pittsburgh that made him the first 10-game winner in the majors, Carlton said he recently had been stuffing cotton in his ears while pitching. "It blocks out the crowd noise," Carlton explained. Rookie Bob Walk, who had lived up to his name in his first two outings by giving up 10 bases on balls in 8‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬® innings, was a 6-5 victor over Chicago as he lasted 5⅖ innings and didn't issue a free pass.
"I haven't seen a guy challenge hitters like that in a long time," said Ken Reitz of the Cardinals after Craig Swan of the Mets had won 2-1 with an explosive fastball. Swan struck out eight and became a winner when Steve Henderson singled in the ninth, stole second and scored on Mike Jorgensen's pinch hit. New York (3-3) climbed past Chicago into fourth place by jolting Pittsburgh 9-4 with an eight-run second and 6-5 in 11 innings.
A two-run pinch homer by Larry Biittner carried the Cubs (2-5) past the Phillies 5-4. That helped Chicago stay safely ahead of last-place St. Louis (page 26).
MONT 27-20 PITT 28-21 PHIL 26-21 NY 22-26 CHI 21-26 ST.L 18-32
During the off-season, the Dodgers (3-3) were sure enough about Dave Goltz' future to sign him to a multi-year, $3 million contract. But the front office was apprehensive about Bob Welch, who had been 5-6 in 1979, and Jerry Reuss, who had been 7-14. With almost a third of the season completed, the Dodgers are now concerned about Goltz and ecstatic about Welch and Reuss. Goltz went nine innings last week. Unfortunately, they came in two starts during which he gave up 12 earned runs, increasing his ERA to 4.71. Welch, who admitted he was an alcoholic and underwent treatment before the season began, cut his ERA to 2.07 and lifted his record to 6-1 by beating the Reds 5-1. As for Reuss, he went to Dr. Frank Jobe when he had an asthma attack in February and found he had weak muscles on his left—or pitching—side. Reuss followed Jobe's weight-training program, and his 5-0 three-hitter against the Braves put him at 7-1, with a 2.41 ERA.
A former Dodger, Rafael Landestoy, helped pull the Astros (4-2) to within one game of L.A. Landestoy tripled in two runs as Houston defeated San Diego 3-2, singled home the decisive run in the ninth to beat the Padres 4-3 and scored vital runs in back-to-back shutouts of San Francisco. J.R. Richard won the first of those games 2-0, yielding just three hits and striking out 13, and Joe Niekro added a 3-0 five-hitter.
Tom Hume saved all three victories for the Reds (3-3) with five innings of shutout relief. But Cincinnati sputtered the rest of the week, largely because seven players had minor injuries and George Foster was going 1 for 20.
Pitchers Rick Wise of the Padres and Phil Niekro of the Braves were no longer victims of poor support. Wise, who had only one win in his previous five starts despite yielding just six runs, pulled a muscle in his rib cage in the sixth inning against Houston. But San Diego (2-4) made him a 3-0 winner when Eric Rasmussen wrapped up the shutout. Niekro, who had received only one run from Atlanta (4-2) in his past 25 innings, finally got enough help to defeat the Giants 4-2. The Braves, who had hit a mere 27 homers in their first 49 games, clouted four while beating the Giants 7-2 and moving up to fifth place. San Francisco (3-3) beat Atlanta 3-2 by scoring three runs with two out in the ninth, the last two on Milt May's double.
LA 31-21 HOUS 29-21 CIN 29-23 SD 25-28 ATL 21-28 SF 21-31
When the Royals (6-1) weren't tormenting opponents with hits—they had 49 in a four-game span—they were bedeviling them with speed. Led by the Flying W's, Kansas City stole 13 bases, including four by Willie Wilson, three by John Wathan, two by Frank White and one by U.L. Washington. Dennis Leonard took care of Texas 8-0 with a three-hitter, and Clint Hurdle settled two games with his bat. While going 7 for 12 for the week, he beat New York 6-5 with a pinch single in the 10th and drove in five runs to defeat Texas 7-2.
Chicago's Rich Dotson, a sensation in April and a dud in May, regained his form with a three-hit, 5-1 victory over Texas. Harry Chappas, recently recalled from the minors, helped the White Sox (4-1) to an 8-7 triumph over the Indians when he doubled in a run in the ninth.
The A's, Mariners and Angels won only one game apiece. Matt Keough ended a five-game Oakland losing streak by beating Boston 4-1 for his seventh victory. Tom Paciorek, who hit .440, had three hits as Seattle won 8-7 in Cleveland. The clincher was Larry Cox' ninth-inning home run. Jason Thompson's three RBIs helped California defeat Toronto 6-3, but the rest of the week was a bummer for the Angels. Outfielder Dan Ford, hobbled by an ailing right knee, became the fourth Californian on the disabled list. Frank Tanana, ineffective as a starter, went to the bullpen, and his first two pitches in relief were creamed for a triple and a homer.
Texas (2-5) was hard hit by injuries, too. Buddy Bell missed most of the week because of a pulled rib-cage muscle, and three pitchers were sidelined—Ferguson Jenkins and Steve Comer with bad shoulders, Danny Darwin with a broken knuckle. Darwin's injury came when he punched a fan during a scuffle outside the Ranger bus.
For the Twins (3-1), Geoff Zahn worked 6⅖ hitless innings against Toronto and wound up with a 5-0 one-hitter. But Minnesota found it would have to do without union activist and Reliever Mike Marshall, who had a 6.19 ERA when released by the club.
KC 32-20 CHI 28-24 OAK 26-26 SEA 24-28 TEX 24-28 MINN 21-30 CAL 20-29
There was a festive air in Milwaukee, where 35,192 burghers welcomed back Manager George Bamberger, who had been out of action since suffering a heart attack on March 26. The pregame ceremonies were elaborate: a This Is Your Life segment, in which old pictures of Bamberger were flashed on the scoreboard screen; a Welcome Home, Bambi sing-along to the tune of Hello, Dolly!; and a ride around the park by Bamberger in the back of a pickup truck. Then came the game. Bamberger, who lost 23 pounds while recuperating, found that his Brewers hadn't lost anything at the plate as they beat the Tigers 8-4. Although Larry Hisle was put on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder, Milwaukee (5-1) kept up its pursuit of first-place New York by defeating Baltimore twice. After Moose Haas beat the Orioles 3-0, the Brewers pulled out a 3-2 victory as league home-run leader Ben Oglivie hit his 14th with a man on and Robin Yount brought home the decisive run with a squeeze bunt in the eighth.
While driving to the ball park with Yankee teammate Jim Spencer, Eric Soderholm's fear became a reality: his already balky car began spouting steam and, 15 minutes before Spencer and Soderholm were to be in the clubhouse, conked out in bumper-to-bumper Bronx traffic. After the players hitched a ride with a couple of fans, it was Soderholm who got hot, going 5 for 5. And with Bobby Brown driving in four runs, New York (4-2) outlasted Toronto 11-7. Tommy John gave up only two singles to Seattle as he picked up his 200th career triumph, a 3-0 victory. A 1-0 win over the Mariners the next night was built around Reggie Jackson's second-inning home run and the three-hit pitching of Tom Underwood, who got last-out relief from Rich Gossage.
Like Soderholm, Rich Dauer of the Orioles (3-2) had a 5-for-5 game, but it took a pinch homer in the 11th by Lenn Sakata to produce a 9-8 defeat of the Brewers.
A three-game sweep of the A's helped the Indians (3-2) tie the Blue Jays for fourth place. Toby Harrah, who batted .529, and Cliff Johnson both homered in the final two games of that series, Johnson settling the finale 6-4 with a two-run shot in the 10th. The Tribe may have to get along for the rest of the season without Second Baseman Duane Kuiper, who was operated on for cartilage and ligament damage to his right knee. Despite three home runs, eight RBIs and .524 hitting by John Mayberry, Toronto (2-4) fell back.
The only game in which the Red Sox (2-3) got decent pitching was Bob Stanley's 6-2 win over the Twins. And only once did Boston batters tee off, Rick Burleson getting five hits during a 14-8 rout of Oakland. Result: a drop from fourth place to sixth.
Detroit (2-2) defeated Seattle 4-2 as two pinch hitters delivered, Stan Papi with an RBI single in the eighth and Richie Hebner with a two-run homer in the ninth.
NY 32-18 MIL 28-21 BALT 25-26 CLEV 24-25 TOR 24-25 BOS 24-26 DET 21-27
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GEORGE BRETT: By homering in three consecutive games, driving across 11 runs, scoring seven times, stealing two bases and batting .433, the 27-year-old third baseman helped Kansas City remain in first place.