When his sinker isn't sinking, Bob Stanley of the Red Sox (5-2) is sunk. Stanley, who early in the season struggled to stay afloat, has been so effective recently that during his last 21‚Öî innings he has allowed only one run.
Another outstanding performance out of the bullpen was turned in by Ross Grimsley of the Orioles (3-3), who pitched 7‚Öî innings of shutout ball. A seven-run ninth made Grimsley a 9-2 winner in California. Relievers Dave Rozema and Elias Sosa of Detroit (2-3) combined for 5‚Öî shutout innings as Detroit beat the Rangers 4-3 and 6-4. Three scoreless innings each by Joey McLaughlin and Roy Lee Jackson of Toronto (3-2) sealed victories over Kansas City. Reliever Jim Slaton of the Brewers (5-2) allowed only one run in 12 innings while winning two games and saving another.
Two of the division's players underwent surgery last week. Cleveland's Bert Blyleven had an operation on torn muscle tissue in his right arm and is through for the season. New York's Doyle Alexander had a minor operation on his right pinkie, which he broke when he punched a dugout wall after pitching poorly. The Indians (4-2) hit seven doubles while beating the Angels 6-5 and amassed 34 hits as they defeated the A's 15-6 and 14-2. Owner George Steinbrenner continued to shake up the Yankees (2-4), trading Dave Revering and minor league Infielder Jeff Reynolds to the Blue Jays for John Mayberry.
BOS 20-9 MIL 16-10 DET 16-12 CLEV 12-14 TOR 12-15 NY 11-15 BALT 10-16
"If and when we ever break this thing [a 12-game losing streak], I'm going to celebrate by doing what I've been doing every night of the streak," said Manager Don Zimmer of the Rangers (1-5). "I'll go home, have a bowl of Puffed Rice—on this diet I can't even have Rice Krispies—with bananas and Sweet 'n Low, and go to bed." That night Zimmer sent Doc Medich, who had a 12.46 ERA, against Boston. Although the Red Sox reached Medich for 10 hits and got two more off Reliever Danny Darwin, they couldn't score. Bobby Johnson of Texas, who hadn't had a hit in six at bats before that night, homered in the fifth for an improbable 1-0 victory.
Conversely, Chicago (5-0) made winning seem almost easy. Relievers had three saves and a win, and Reliever-turned-Starter Lamarr Hoyt ran his record to 6-0 by beating Detroit 8-5 as Jim Morrison homered twice, Greg Luzinski once and former Tiger Ron LeFlore stole three bases. That was one of three three-homer games by the White Sox, who moved into first place, percentage points in front of California (3-3). Don Aase picked up a win and a save for the Angels, whose attack sputtered until Don Baylor had four RBIs during a 7-2 defeat of the Orioles.
A puny offense also beat the Twins (1-6), who didn't score more than three runs in any game. Three runs, though, were enough for Roger Erickson, who with relief aid from Doug Corbett held off Boston 3-2.
Oakland starting pitchers went the route 58% of the time last season, but this year they have completed only 36% of their games. Last week the A's (3-3) had just one route-going performance, by Matt Keough, who despite giving up seven hits and seven walks, throwing a wild pitch and making two errors was a 5-2 winner in New York.
After the Mariners (3-3) celebrated Gaylord Perry's 300th victory with traditional locker-room high jinks (page 26), they took out their frustrations over a 9-4 loss to New York on the ballpark and its furnishings. Jim Beattie, who gave up eight hits and seven walks that night, slammed a broom handle through a wall in the walkway next to the dugout. Richie Zisk pounded a garbage can with his bat the way he wished he'd hit balls in the clutch. And Mike Stanton, who was tagged for four hits in the ninth inning, reduced his clubhouse stool to kindling. Seattle scored three runs in the last two innings to topple Baltimore 4-3; it was the 10th time this season that the Mariners had come from behind to win.
"I'm tired of it," said Reliever Dan Quisenberry of the Royals (2-4), referring to the way the Brewers had pounded him for 27 hits in 13‚Öî innings over the last three seasons. Last week Quiz had the answers, and during 6‚Öî innings in two outings against Milwaukee he yielded only three hits while gaining his eighth save and first victory. Jamie Quirk went 4 for 4 in one game against the Brewers, making him a .448 hitter against Milwaukee since it traded him in 1978. Fourteen Kansas City players have missed a game or more because of injuries. The latest casualties were U.L. Washington (on the disabled list with a back injury), Amos Otis (pulled leg muscle), Larry Gura (sprained ankle) and George Brett (12 stitches in his left knee).
CHI 17-9 CAL 19-11 OAK 16-14 KC 14-13 SEA 14-17 MINN 10-21 TEX 7-18
At the start of the week, Dusty Baker of Los Angeles (5-1) couldn't take it anymore; by the end of the week, opposing pitchers couldn't take Baker anymore. After he went 0 for 6 on Monday, Baker stormed into the clubhouse, ripped the nameplate off his locker and smashed his director's-type chair to smithereens. The next night, Baker broke out of his 0-for-14 slump with two hits, including a single in the last of the ninth that made Fernando Valenzuela a 2-1 victor over New York. Then it was on to Olympic Stadium in Montreal, where Baker had never hit a home run. In two games there he homered three times and drove in nine runs.
In a showdown between division leaders, a three-run double in the 10th carried the Braves (3-3) past the Cardinals 6-3. Although he lasted only 5‚Öì innings against the Pirates, that stint was long enough for Phil Niekro to get a single, a double, two RBIs and his first victory of the season. Bob Horner spiced his .524 hitting with three home runs.
"I'm going to get this next guy [Kiko Garcia of the Astros] out and then have a beer. Does that sound all right?" That's what Tom Seaver of the Reds (2-3) asked Pitching Coach Bill Fischer, who had come to the mound in the seventh after Seaver's lead had been pared to 3-1 by two hits. Fischer gave the go-ahead to Seaver, who got Garcia on a groundout to end the inning. Seaver then had his brew and savored his first triumph of the season. Tom Hume sewed up that 5-2 win by working the final two innings. Mario Soto needed no assistance; he fanned 11 Pirates, yielded only five hits and won 5-0.
Chili Davis and Jack Clark twice helped the Giants (2-4) overcome 3-0 Met leads and go on to win 5-3 and 8-3. Both had two RBIs in each outing, Davis a two-run double in the ninth to settle the 5-3 game.
"We're starting to press a little," said Manager Dick Williams of the Padres (2-4), who were starting to lose a lot. Since an 11-game winning streak was broken on April 28, San Diego has dropped seven of 11.
There were also furrowed brows in Houston (1-4). Nolan Ryan, who had an 8-1 career record against the Cubs, was battered for nine runs in 2‚Öî innings. That left Ryan 2-5 for the season, with a 6.92 ERA. Further concern was caused by opposing base stealers, who have been safe on 24 of their last 26 tries and on 35 of 45 overall. Not even Phil Garner's .474 hitting could lift the Astros.
ATL 20-9 SD 16-11 LA 16-13 SF 13-16 CIN 12-16 HOUS 12-18
In what amounted to a semi-historic week for him, George Hendrick of the Cardinals (4-2) hit three home runs (nothing unusual) and spoke up (very unusual) at a dinner given for the team by a group of St. Louis sportsmen known as The Knights of the Cauliflower Ear. Hendrick, who rarely talks when the media are around, surprised the Knights, teammates and the press when he spoke up after being teased by teammate Gene Tenace. "It takes 25 guys to make a winner," was one of his more scintillating remarks. That was his polite way of downplaying the team's 2-7 record when he has been out with a bum right elbow and its 17-4 record when he has been able to play. As Hendrick indicated, others have helped put the Cardinals in first place. Doug Bair won twice in relief, Bruce Sutter picked up his ninth and 10th saves, and Lonnie Smith batted .500.
Keith Moreland of the Cubs (3-3), who like Smith was traded by the Phils during the off-season, batted .435 and had 10 RBIs. That left Moreland leading the league with a .382 average and second with 27 RBIs. During a 12-6 drubbing of Houston, he singled, slugged his seventh and eighth homers and drove across seven runs. Pitcher Dickie Noles, another Philly castoff, won his fourth, defeating the Astros 3-2.
Philadelphia (5-1) hasn't been left destitute, however. Mike Schmidt walloped a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to finish off San Diego 5-2. Steve Carlton also hit a three-run drive, helping himself defeat the Giants 9-4. And George Vukovich, who recalled that he had a beard when he was hitting well late last season, started growing a new one. Vukovich then went 8 for 15 and drove in nine runs.
The Pirates (4-2) were becoming Bowie Kuhn fans. Pittsburgh Third Baseman Bill Madlock even suggested that the commissioner should get thank-you cards from the Bucs for having shot down a trade late last season that would have sent Jason Thompson to the Yankees. Thompson's .550 week and six RBIs put him second in the league with a .381 average and first with 28 runs batted in.
A two-run single in the 12th by Hubie Brooks enabled the Mets (3-3) to defeat the Dodgers 6-3. Then it was on to San Francisco, where Dave Kingman's 10th home run and Neil Allen's seventh save contributed to a 3-2 triumph.
In an effort to perk up the offense, the Expos (1-5) moved Tim Raines from leftfield to second base and put Terry Francona in left. (The odd man out was Rodney Scott, who was hitting .200 when given his release.) In the first game they both started, Raines had three hits and Francona two, but Montreal still lost to Los Angeles 10-8. Another loser was Pitcher Bill Lee, who was fined and put on waivers after he protested Scott's dismissal and left the park during a game.
ST.L 19-11 MONT 12-13 NY 14-15 PHIL 12-15 PITT 12-14 CHI 11-18
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BOB STANLEY: The Boston reliever pitched 12‚Öî innings against Minnesota and Texas, allowed eight hits and no runs, struck out six batters and surrendered one walk while gaining two wins and a save.