The Phillies couldn't find the right combination at Wrigley Field. In the opener of a three-game series there, they thought they had the right numbers to end their two-game losing streak—12 (hits), six (Cub errors), 11 (runs). But the Cubs (4-3), who withstood a four-run Philadelphia ninth, came up with the winning combination—19 (hits), three (homers), 12 (runs). Chicago went on to sweep the series, winning the second game 8-5 and the third 7-6 on a game-winning single in the 11th by Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg was one of a flock of former Phillies who tormented their old club in the sweep. Larry Bowa, who'd gotten only six hits in his previous seven games, had six against Philadelphia. Sandberg added four hits, Keith Moreland three and Jay Johnstone one. And in the middle game, former Phils Doug Bird and Mike Proly picked up the win and save, respectively. In all, Chicago pounded out 41 hits against Philadelphia. Bill Buckner got eight, and Leon Durham drove in six runs. The only unhappy news for the Cubs was that Leftfielder Scot Thompson suffered a broken collarbone when he crashed into the wall while robbing Luis Aguayo of a probable double and two RBIs in the 11th inning of Game 3. Chicago then beat Montreal 12-8 by stealing four bases and amassing 16 hits. Buckner had four of those hits.
Catcher Gary Carter of the Expos (4-3) may have helped put an end to Buckner's batting spree. Five days after Buckner had smashed Carter's mask with a bat. Carter retaliated by slamming Buck's bat on the ground and breaking it. Later in the game the two exchanged a few harmless punches. Buckner had one hit in that game, which Montreal's Steve Rogers won 4-0, and went hitless in the next, a 5-2 Expo victory. Like Chicago, Montreal lost a leftfielder. Terry Francona, who was batting .321, is out for the rest of the season after tearing up his right knee; he caught his spikes in the rubber warning track while chasing a fly ball at Busch Memorial Stadium. The Expos beat the Cardinals 8-3 in that game as Andre Dawson drove in three runs, his first RBIs in eight games.
St. Louis (3-4) won the other two games of that series, 2-1 and 3-2. The Cardinals won the opener even though Expo Shortstop Chris Speier pulled off the hidden-ball trick against Ozzie Smith. Speier executed the play when he took a throw from the outfield and then tagged out Smith as he edged off second base. In the second game, Smith doubled in the 11th inning and scored the clinching run on a single by Willie McGee.
New York (4-2) twice rallied to defeat St. Louis. Wally Backman and Ellis Valentine drove in two runs apiece during a five-run ninth against ace reliever Bruce Sutter to beat the Cardinals 5-3. The next night Dave Kingman's three-run homer in the eighth was the difference in an 8-5 victory. George Foster also homered for the Mets in that game and went 5 for 5. On Sunday, John Stearns tripled across two runs in the 10th to beat Sutter again, 5-4.
Philadelphia (3-4) ended a five-game skid by winning 4-3 in Pittsburgh as Gary Matthews hit his second home run of the game in the 11th. Mike Krukow then beat the Pirates 8-3 to become the first Philly righthanded starter since August 1978 to win at Three Rivers Stadium. When Steve Carlton defeated the Pirates 8-3, the Phillies had won three consecutive games in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1971. For the week, Matthews had 10 RBIs, Garry Maddox hit .417 and Pete Rose batted .387 as he became the fifth player in major league history to compete in 3,000 games.
Five RBIs by Jason Thompson propelled the Pirates (2-4) past the Mets 13-3. In that game the Bucs pounded out 17 hits.
ST.L 38-28 MONT 35-27 NY 34-30 PHIL 33-30 PITT 28-33 CHI 25-42
Los Angeles (6-0) feasted on taters and goose eggs to move above .500. Dusty Baker's home run in the 11th beat the Padres 4-3, and Pedro Guerrero's homer gave Fernando Valenzuela his ninth win, 2-1 over the Reds in Cincinnati. Between those games, both Baker and Guerrero homered as Bob Welch beat San Diego 6-0. Jerry Reuss also shut out the Padres 3-0. During one stretch of 40 innings, Dodger pitchers gave up only three runs.
Surprising San Diego (page 22) and Atlanta (3-3) remained ahead of L.A. Bob Walk helped keep the Braves in first place by throwing a four-hitter in a 7-0 defeat of Houston (3-3). Earlier the Astros beat the Braves 9-0 behind the six-hit pitching of Joe Niekro and a season-high 15 hits. Houston's Nolan Ryan struck out 11 in a 7-2 victory over the Padres.
Manager Frank Robinson of San Francisco (3-3) was so upset with his starting pitchers that he thought of putting relievers Gary Lavelle, Jim Barr and Al Holland in the rotation. Robinson also complained about his players' sloppy baserunning and about stranding a total of 39 runners in four games. He also found no virtue in the off-season trade that sent Larry Herndon to Detroit, where he already has hit 13 home runs, for pitchers Dan Schatzeder and Mike Chris. Schatzeder was sold last week to Montreal, and Chris was sent to the minors. But Robinson found no fault with Chili Davis, who had nine RBIs during the week, or with Joe Morgan, who batted .471.
Cesar Cedeno lost a fly ball in the lights in the 11th to give the Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Reds (2-4). Earlier in the week, however, Cedeno hit two homers and had eight RBIs to lead Cincinnati to 7-3 and 4-2 defeats of San Francisco. Tom Hume got his 13th and 14th saves of the season in those games.
ATL 39-25 SD 35-28 LA 35-32 SF 30-37 HOUS 28-37 CIN 27-38
Catcher Ted Simmons of the Brewers (5-1), thinking that a strikeout had ended the Orioles' half of the third, flipped the ball behind the plate to Umpire George Maloney, who correctly let the ball drop. In fact, the strikeout was only the second out. Simmons' blunder allowed two Baltimore runners to advance, and they scored on Joe Nolan's single. The game was called after nine innings because of rain with the score tied 2-2. Twelve homers carried Milwaukee all week. Ben Oglivie cleared the fences three times on Sunday to defeat Detroit 7-5. Robin Yount had 10 RBIs and four homers, and Rollie Fingers got three saves.
Jim Clancy of Toronto (4-3) won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions when Dave Revering hit a two-run homer in the ninth to beat California 2-0. In Oakland, Damaso Garcia singled in the 12th, his fifth hit of the night, and then Garth Iorg and Lloyd Moseby doubled to give the Blue Jays a 3-1 victory. For the week, Garcia batted .375 and stole four bases.
The Yankees (4-3), who were in danger of replacing the Blue Jays in last place, played some of their best ball of the season in sweeping first-place Boston. First, Ron Guidry won 5-1; then a three-run eighth, in which Ken Griffey hit a two-run homer, beat the Bosox 5-4; and, finally, Dave Righetti survived eight walks in a rain-shortened six-inning game to defeat the Sox 4-1. Later, Willie Randolph's fourth hit of the game beat the Orioles 4-3 in 16 innings.
Cleveland (4-2) swept a doubleheader from Detroit, 5-0 and 2-1. Len Barker fanned 11 Tigers in winning the opener on a four-hitter. In the second game, Rick Sutcliffe and Dan Spillner combined for another four-hitter, and Andre Thornton hit his 18th home run. Those losses were part of a seven-game losing streak for Detroit (0-6).
Boston (2-5) limped along without Jim Rice, who had a pulled leg muscle. But Mike Torrez, heeding Manager Ralph Houk's suggestion that he "work quicker," did precisely that and defeated the Indians 6-3.
Dan Ford's pinch-hit grand slam carried the Orioles (3-2) past the Brewers 9-4. Jim Palmer, with last-out relief help from Tippy Martinez, defeated the Yankees 4-1 on three hits, and Joe Nolan's 11th-inning home run beat Goose Gossage 5-3.
BOS 39-25 DET 35-26 MIL 35-29 BALT 33-29 CLEV 31-31 NY 30-31 TOR 31-35
Manager Don Zimmer of Texas (4-3) stuck with his decision despite knowing that if it backfired he "would have had a one-way ticket to St. Petersburg." What Zim did, with his team leading the Twins 3-2 with two out and nobody on in the last of the ninth, was have reliever Steve Comer intentionally walk rookie Kent Hrbek, who had a .338 average and 15 home runs. That risky move brought up Jesus Vega, a .285 hitter with four homers. Fortunately for Zimmer, Vega grounded out to end the game. The following night, Buddy Bell, who batted .393 and drove in eight runs during the week, hit two dingers to lead Texas to a 6-3 win over Minnesota. Ranger rookie Dave Hostetler continued to provide sorely needed oomph by belting three homers. The Rangers' Rick Honeycutt had his sinker working as he got 22 ground-ball outs en route to a 5-1 defeat of Seattle, a game in which Bell had three RBIs.
Tom Brunansky of the Twins (2-4), another rookie with power, got his ninth homer in a 5-2 win over Kansas City. The victory went to rookie Frank (Sweet Music) Viola, who didn't fiddle around while pitching seven strong innings.
Rickey Henderson of the A's (1-6) ran into a dry spell, but after getting caught stealing four times in a row, he was safe on his next two attempts. Those thefts left Henderson with 66 stolen bases in 68 games. Casualty report: Oakland's Mike Norris went on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder; A's Manager Billy Martin left one game in the sixth inning because of muscle spasms in his neck; and Matt Keough, with one pitch, hit Toronto's Willie Upshaw in the chest and fractured home-plate Umpire Mark Johnson's right hand.
Jim Beattie and Mike Stanton of the Mariners (3-4) combined on a three-hitter that disposed of the Rangers 4-0. In Beattie's next start, he fanned 10 Royals in seven innings and was a 10-3 winner as Seattle overcame a 3-0 deficit for its 21st come-from-behind victory of the season. Al Cowens' .357 week raised his average to .287. On May 7 he was batting .181.
Rod Carew of the Angels (4-2) also has been on a tear, lifting his average from .262 to .330 in four weeks. A four-hit game by Carew, the 44th of his career, enabled California to beat Toronto 10-8. Carew later extended his hitting streak to 24 games, his longest ever. Teammate Reggie Jackson's homer, the 2,000th hit of his career, came in a 7-2 triumph over Chicago. In that game Angel Moreno came out of the bullpen to replace Ken Forsch, who had pulled a hamstring getting out of the way of a batted ball, and yielded only one run over the final seven innings. In Steve Renko's 7-1 win over the Blue Jays, the last four men in the California batting order—Fred Lynn, Doug DeCinces, Tim Foli and Bob Boone—combined for nine hits.
Four saves by Dan Quisenberry of the Royals (4-2) gave him a major league-leading 19. Amos Otis and Willie Aikens each hit two-run homers in the ninth for a 4-1 win in Seattle. K.C.'s Onix Concepcion helped beat the Twins 7-4 by throwing his bat at an outside pitch on a hit-and-run play and connecting for a pop-fly double.
LaMarr Hoyt of Chicago (4-2), who had won his first nine decisions of the season and then dropped his next three, became the majors' first 10-game winner when he blanked Oakland 7-0 on three hits. The White Sox also won three slugfests: Greg Luzinski singled in the 10th to beat the A's 7-6; four RBIs by Tony Bernazard and three by Steve Kemp took care of Oakland 11-7; and Kemp's five ribbies, on a grand slam and a sacrifice fly, sent the Angels to a 7-6 loss.
CAL 39-27 KC 37-26 CHI 36-28 SEA 34-34 OAK 29-39 TEX 23-36 MINN 16-52
BALL PARK FIGURES
According to an SI poll of the best base stealers in the majors, the easiest pitchers to steal on are:
1. Len Barker, Clev
2. Charlie Hough, Tex
3. Dennis Eckersley, Bos
4. Goose Gossage, NY
5. Dennis Martinez, Balt
5. Mark Clear, Bos
1. Nolan Ryan, Hous
2. Dick Ruthven, Phil
3. Ron Reed, Phil
4. Tom Seaver, Cin
5. Phil Niekro, Atl
5. Randy Jones, NY
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BILL BUCKNER: The Cub first baseman and No. 1 pugilist drove in 11 runs, walloped a pair of homers, had two stolen bases and batted .484 (15 hits in 31 trips to the plate) to raise his average to .301.