Putting on weight has helped Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers (3-3) beef up his pitching. During the off-season Reuss went on a weight-gaining program that added 10 pounds to his 6'5" frame and brought him up to 220. Reuss, relying almost exclusively on fastballs, fired his and the season's first no-hitter when he beat the Giants 8-0 with the aid of Dusty Baker's 17th homer and Steve Garvey's 16th. Only Shortstop Bill Russell's first-inning throwing error prevented a perfect game by Reuss, who has given up just four earned runs in his last 44 innings. More superb pitching produced two victories in Houston. When Don Sutton came up with a groin pull, Rick Sutcliffe started for the first time in more than six weeks, singled in two runs and blanked the Astros 3-0. And Bob Welch improved his record to 8-2 by stopping Houston 9-2.
Although attendance was up 300,000 and they were leading the West by two games, the Astros (2-4) were worried. J.R. Richard, who missed a Monday start because of what he termed a "dead" arm, gave up five runs in 3‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬® innings and lost to the Reds 8-5 on Saturday. Richard downplayed the condition, but teammate Art Howe insisted the hurler's ailing arm was "bothering the whole team." Houston labored for both its wins. Cesar Cedeno went 5 for 5, singled in the 12th and eventually scored on a Dodger error to pull out a 5-4 triumph. And it took a two-run triple in the eighth by Jose Cruz to knock off Cincinnati 5-4.
The Reds (3-2) were concerned about two pitchers—Mike LaCoss and Tom Seaver. A 12-2 loss to St. Louis left LaCoss with a 4-7 record and 5.38 ERA. Seaver gave up nine hits and three runs and struck out just one Atlanta batter in seven innings as he won 15-3 for his third victory, about one-third of his usual number at this stage of the season. Tom Hume's 11th save, Johnny Bench's three-run double, Dave Collins' 22nd steal in a row and Ken Griffey's ninth and 10th RBIs of the week beat Houston 8-5.
Despite the confusion caused by the unexpected retirement announcements of First Basemen Willie McCovey and Mike Ivie, San Francisco (2-4) defeated Los Angeles for the first time in eight tries, 4-3, on Terry Whitfield's 11th-inning single.
Dave Cash of the Padres (3-4) summed up a clubhouse talk by Manager Jerry Coleman by saying, "He told us he wanted to have some fun and that he wasn't going to be as uptight as he has been." To prove he meant it, the manager, in Cash's words, is "even sitting down part of the time instead of pacing the dugout for nine innings." Helping the rookie skipper relax was a 5-3 victory over the Giants in which John D'Acquisto pitched five innings of hitless relief to pick up the win and Aurelio Rodriguez hit the team's first home run in 14 games. The next day Dave Winfield drove in five runs and slammed his first four-bagger in 23 games as San Diego beat San Francisco 7-3. Leftfielder Gene Richards threw out five base runners to double his season's total.
"The people in Cincinnati must think we're a bunch of clowns," said Brave Manager Bobby Cox following 8-2 and 15-3 losses to the Reds. In San Diego, however, the Braves (2-4) got the last laugh. Reliever Gene Garber saved successive games, a 5-3 victory in which Atlanta scored four times in the eighth and a 5-4 comebacker in which Bill Nahorodny hit a two-run homer with two out in the ninth. But a 3-2 loss to Chicago left Phil Niekro with a Woolworth record—5 and 10.
HOUS 42-27 LA 41-30 CIN 37-33 SF 32-39 SD 32-41 ATL 30-39
Lee Mazzilli of the Mets (7-1), who was supposed to bring back some of the team's old magic, had been as frustrated during the early season as a sorcerer with lots of hats but no rabbits. Last week, though, Mazzilli got his act together and—presto!—pulled New York out of a slump. Maz helped beat the Cubs 4-3 by doubling and scoring from second when Centerfielder Jerry Martin got tangled in the Wrigley Field ivy while hauling down a drive by Joel Youngblood. In the same game Mazzilli bunted safely, stole second and scored on a single. Mazzilli helped defeat the Phillies' Steve Carlton by hitting the first homer off the lefty in 72 innings, an inside-the-park job on which Rightfielder Bake McBride missed a diving catch and let the ball roll to the wall. Mazzilli then had six hits and two steals as New York took a doubleheader in Philadelphia 2-1 and 5-4. Neil Allen got his fourth win in the opener and his 13th save in the second. Allen saved two earlier contests, one a 9-6 triumph in L.A. in which Claudell Washington homered three times.
Because home runs are often called taters, you might say the Phillies (2-5) defeated the Expos 2-1 with the aid of a baked tater—a homer by Bake McBride.
Lefthand-hitting Warren Cromartie of the division-leading Expos (3-3) twice had game-winning hits after Gary Carter was intentionally walked so lefty pitchers could face him. After singling in the lead run to help Steve Rogers beat San Diego 2-0, Cromartie downed Philadelphia 7-6 with a hit in the 10th. Scott Sanderson stopped the Phillies 1-0, Chris Speier scoring when he kicked the ball out of Catcher Bob Boone's mitt. The Expos stole 13 bases, five by Rodney Scott, who has 26, and four by Ron LeFlore, who has 42.
Omar Moreno of the Pirates (3-3), who leads both leagues with 44 steals, swiped second and scored on a single to help beat the Expos 4-3. The victory went to Jim Bibby (9-1), who earlier had beaten Houston 2-1.
With his relievers overworked and his starters under siege, Manager Preston Gomez of the Cubs (3-5) had to start Mike Krukow against the Cardinals even though the Mets had shelled him three days before. "Don't look to the bullpen," Gomez warned. Krukow didn't. Despite three first-inning errors by the Cubs, he won 2-1.
Helping the Cardinals (6-1) come on strong were Garry Templeton, who batted .500, Keith Hernandez (.435), George Hendrick (.433), Ted Simmons (.417) and Leon Durham, who beat the Cubs 8-6 with a two-run double in the ninth. Still, St. Louis would not have suddenly perked up had it not been for a turnabout by its pitchers. Jim Kaat, Bob Sykes and Don Hood, three lefties with one win apiece, bamboozled the Pirates 6-1, 3-2 and 4-1. All three consistently got their first pitches over for strikes, Kaat 84% of the time, Sykes and Hood 70%. But the highlight of Kaat's 266th win was his first stolen base in 15 years and third in his 21-year career.
MONT 38-29 PITT 37-33 PHIL 35-32 NY 34-36 CHI 30-38 ST.L 30-41
While to explain his peculiar sidearm pitching motion to an inquisitive woman at a shopping mall, Dan Quisenberry of the Royals (5-2) used terms he thought a mother might grasp. "Basically, what I do is bend over and spank—throw the ball as if I was spanking a child," Quisenberry explained. Despite throwing what he calls "slop"—mothers know all about sloppy, too—Quiz picked up his 12th, 13th and 14th saves with his spanking motion. Five homers helped Rich Gale blow down Milwaukee 7-4 and Seattle 2-1. Larry Gura stopped the Mariners 4-2 with a four-hitter for his 10th victory.
After going seven innings in the scorching Texas heat and pitching the Rangers (4-2) to a 5-1 lead over the Blue Jays, Gaylord Perry asked for bullpen help. As they have done so often this season, though, the relievers bogged down, losing the game 6-5. Next time out, Perry knew better. After using just 82 pitches during a four-hit, 5-0 defeat of Minnesota, Perry said, "It would have taken an Act of Congress to get me out of there." Perry wasn't the only problem for the Twins, whose bus broke down twice in the 113° weather and barely made it to the park in time for the game. Mickey Rivers hit .464 and AI Oliver drove in seven runs to tie Tony Perez of Boston for the league lead with 55. Three Rangers fresh off the disabled list—Steve Comer, Danny Darwin and Buddy Bell—contributed to an 11-3 drubbing of the Twins. Comer yielded only two hits and one run in five innings to earn the victory; Darwin chalked up a save with tight relief work; and Bell slugged two homers.
Six errors by the White Sox (4-3) led to eight unearned runs and a doubleheader loss to the Tigers. But then Chicago swept a three-game series in California for the first time in 12 years. A 2-1 victory in the opener gave Britt Burns his first win in 23 days and Ed Farmer his first save in 13 days. Farmer also saved a 5-3 victory for Rich Dotson, a winner for the first time in three weeks. In the same game Jim Morrison hit two doubles to increase his major league lead to 24. Steve Trout completed the sweep with a 5-2 win, his first in 30 days. Farmer then added his 17th save when he finished up Rich Wortham's 3-0 four-hitter in Oakland.
Mike Norris of the A's (2-4) won his ninth by beating the White Sox 3-1, and Matt Keough gained his eighth victory by ending a nine-game Yankee winning streak 5-2. Rickey Henderson helped beat New York with a rare bunt double, as the ball went under the glove of Pitcher Tom Underwood, past First Baseman Jim Spencer and into short right.
Three usually light hitters enabled the Mariners (2-4) to salvage a pair of victories. Larry Milbourne, who hit .450, drove in two runs in the ninth with a triple to defeat Baltimore 7-5. And three RBIs each by Larry Cox and Mario Mendoza beat Texas 8-4.
Manager Gene Mauch of the Twins (2-5) had to take his cap off to Jerry Koosman. Mauch's cap was the only clean one left that fit Koosman, who sweated his way through two others, plus five sweatshirts and two jerseys while striking out 15 Royals en route to a 4-1 triumph.
Despite being in the cellar, the Angels' attendance is up nearly 37,000. More than 27,000 saw California (1-5) beat Milwaukee 6-5 by scoring twice in the ninth on two bunt singles, two walks and a sacrifice fly.
KC 44-28 CHI 34-36 TEX 34-37 OAK 32-40 SEA 31-41 MINN 29-42 CAL 24-45
With the Tigers (7-0) stretching their winning streak to nine games, Detroit rooters were ecstatic about the chance of avoiding an ignominious grand slam. The Lions, Pistons and Red Wings all finished last during the past year, but the Tigers have won 16 of 19 to jump from seventh to third. Three straight three-hit games by Rick Peters, plus Richie Hebner's .409 batting and 11 RBIs accented the team's .309 hitting. When Alan Trammell, who was batting .326 for the season and who had not erred in 40 games, was given a two-game rest, his sidekick at second base, Lou Whitaker, had four hits and four RBIs.
"We're the giant squid," said Tommy John of the first-place Yankees (2-4). "If one arm doesn't get you, the other will." The pitchers' arms gave up 33 runs, but twice the sluggers ended skids at two games. Four homers took care of Boston 10-5. Bobby Murcer had two home runs and five RBIs against Cleveland, but the Yankees did not win 11-10 until Rick Cerone drove in two runs with a single in the ninth.
Rick Waits beat the Yankees for Cleveland's (2-4) first win in New York since his victory in the 1978 regular-season finale forced a playoff with Boston. Joe Charboneau hit .440 and Miguel Dilone batted .385 and stole four bases. But the pitchers gave up 38 runs in four losses. Worst of all was a 13-3 setback to Detroit in which Cleveland hurlers issued 14 walks, five with the bases full.
Thirteen homers, three each by Gorman Thomas and Sixto Lezcano, kept the Brewers (4-2) rolling. So did an 8-0 shutout of Oakland by Reggie Cleveland, who made only his third start since 1977.
The Red Sox (4-2) also gained on the Yankees, beating them 7-2 behind Dennis Eckersley and 4-3 on Dave Stapleton's double in the 10th. Tom Burgmeier, who won that second game in relief, also earned his 12th and 13th saves as he gave up just two hits and fanned 13 in 9 innings.
Baltimore (4-2) relievers, meanwhile, picked up their 13th loss in 16 decisions. But Scott McGregor won twice, including an 80-pitch, 1-0 victory over Toronto. Steve Stone's 4-1 win over the Blue Jays was his eighth straight, his 10th overall and his fourth consecutive complete game since speeding up his pitching tempo.
There was little for the Blue Jays (1-5) to chirp about. It took six pitchers, three runs in the eighth, one in the ninth and another in the 10th to overcome Texas 6-5.
NY 45-25 MIL 39-30 DET 37-30 BOS 38-32 BALT 38-33 CLEV 34-34 TOR 31-37
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JERRY REUSS: The Los Angeles lefthander, who was 7-14 last year and who began this season in the bullpen, pitched an 8-0 no-hitter against San Francisco, improving his record to 9-1 and lowering his ERA to 1.87.