"MVP, MVP, MVP." That was the chant that reverberated throughout Milwaukee's County Stadium as Robin Yount of the Brewers (3-3) circled the bases after his 26th home run. Yount's homer was his second of the night, and it topped off his three-hit, six-RBI effort in a 15-6 blitzing of the Orioles. Baltimore (3-3), which had come to town three games in back of Milwaukee, had taken a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the opener of that three-game weekend series. The Birds tightened up the race on Saturday by beating the Brewers 7-2 behind Jim Palmer (15-4), who retired the last 14 men in a row on a total of only 23 pitches. On Sunday afternoon, Baltimore reduced its deficit to two games as Dennis Martinez and Tippy Martinez teamed up to pitch a six-hitter during a 5-2 triumph in Milwaukee. For Dennis, that was his 15th win; for Tippy, it was his 16th save. Eddie Murray of the Orioles walloped his 31st homer of the season in that game and Gorman Thomas of the Brewers connected for his 39th, which leads both leagues.
Both teams had begun the week with dramatic victories. Baltimore started off by beating Detroit 3-1 when John Lowenstein slugged a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. Ben Oglivie of Milwaukee also homered in the last of the ninth—on an 0-2 pitch with two out—to force Boston into extra innings. Pete Vuckovich (18-4) went the distance and won in the 11th when Yount and Cecil Cooper singled, Ted Simmons sacrificed and Gorman Thomas brought the run home with a sacrifice fly. Oglivie's 32nd homer and four-hit pitching by Mike Caldwell (17-12) also beat the Red Sox 3-1.
Two of the things that have hurt Boston (3-3) the most this season have been the 146 home runs given up by the pitching staff and the 162 double plays the Sox have hit into. The major league mark for hitting into double plays is 170, set in 1950 by the Philadelphia Athletics. Nonetheless, Boston clung to third place as Jim Rice singled in the 10th to defeat Milwaukee 4-3 and John Tudor whiffed nine Yankees while winning 4-2.
Detroit (4-3) handed Baltimore two costly setbacks, 11-1 and 10-5. In the first of those games, Tiger Lance Parrish walloped his 30th home run, tying the league record for catchers held by Yogi Berra (1956) and Gus Triandos (1958). Jack Morris (17-16) shut out Cleveland 4-0. And in the completion of a June 9 game that was suspended after 14 innings with the score 3-3, the Tigers beat the Indians 4-3 when Ed Glynn came in from the bullpen with the bases loaded and made just one delivery—a wild pitch—in the 18th.
Cleveland (4-3) had more success in New York (2-4) in a battle for fifth place. By scoring four runs in the ninth—two on a single by Mike Hargrove, one on a double by Larry Milbourne and the last on an error—the Tribe won 9-8. In the nightcap of that doubleheader, Dave Righetti ended the longest Yankee losing streak since 1953 at nine games by defeating the Indians 6-2. Cleveland won the rubber game 5-0 as Rick Sutcliffe (14-6) lowered his ERA to a league-leading 2.85. Ron Hassey had his finest week of the season, batting .533.
Dave Stieb of Toronto (3-3), who leads the league in innings pitched (279) and is the league leader in complete games, went the route for the 17th and 18th times while beating Minnesota 5-1 and Seattle 6-2. For Stieb, those were his 15th and 16th wins, a team record. Jim Clancy (14-14) won his third game in four starts when Damaso Garcia drew a walk with the bases full in the 10th inning to beat the Twins 3-2.
MIL 92-63 BALT 90-65 BOS 85-70 DET 78-76 CLEV 76-78 NY 75-80 TOR 72-83
A three-game sweep of the Royals (page 16) put the Angels (5-2) on cloud nine. California soared some more by winning twice in Texas, 10-1 behind Bruce Kison and 6-5 with a seventh-inning rally that included home runs by Rod Carew, who hit .435 for the week, and Doug DeCinces. That win went to Dave Goltz, who yielded only one hit in 3‚Öì innings of relief. Three days earlier, Goltz had hurled 3‚Öî perfect innings to lock up an 8-5 victory over Kansas City. The Royals (1-5) ended a seven-game skid by beating Oakland 7-4 as Larry Gura (18-11) kept alive his quest for a 20-win season.
Harold Baines and Greg Luzinski each drove in his 100th run of the year, the first time the White Sox (3-4) have had two such productive hitters since Luke Appling and Zeke Bonura in 1936. Steve Dillard got five RBIs during a 13-1 clobbering of Minnesota. Not bad for a player who had been visiting his folks in Mississippi two weeks earlier following the conclusion of his Triple A season. Dillard got his chance when he was called up by the White Sox to replace injured Second Baseman Tony Bernazard.
Ed Vande Berg of the Mariners (5-2) pitched 6‚Öî innings of shutout relief while picking up his fourth and fifth saves and his ninth victory. Those outings raised Vande Berg's appearance total to 74, a record for an American League rookie. Two other Mariner youngsters—John Moses, 25, and Bryan Clark, 26—did well. Since being called up from the minors on Aug. 20, Moses had gone 8 for 22 with six extra-base blows. One of Moses' hits was a ninth-inning double that knocked off Toronto 3-2. Clark, who escaped the bullpen because Gaylord Perry was sitting out a 10-day suspension for having allegedly doctored the ball on Aug. 23, won twice as a starter. After beating Chicago 5-2 with an assist from Vande Berg, Clark defeated Toronto 7-0. Old hand Bruce Bochte also helped the Mariners put together their most successful week since early June by pounding out a club-record seven consecutive hits, slamming a pair of home runs and batting a resounding .500.
Two new additions from the minors enabled Oakland (4-2) to twice defeat Texas. Tim Conroy's five-hitter took care of the Rangers 6-1, and Steve Baker, with relief from Dave Beard, was a 5-3 victor. The A's dealt the Royals a 5-4 setback on Sunday, the ninth loss in 10 games for Kansas City, which concluded the week 3½ lengths behind California. Oakland scored the decisive run in the eighth inning when Jeff Burroughs, Davey Lopes and Mike Heath all came through with two-out singles.
Frank Tanana of Texas (3-4), who had been backed by no more than two runs in 26 of 28 previous starts, reveled in some rare support as he beat Oakland 10-3. Mike Richardt, who drove in four runs in that game, teamed up with two other rookies as the Rangers stung the Angels 5-4. After Dave Hosteller had singled in the ninth of a 4-4 deadlock, Richardt sent pinch runner Nick Capra to third with a single. Capra then scored the decisive run when California Catcher Bob Boone threw wildly to third on a pickoff attempt.
Randy Bush proved he was no busher, homering twice as Minnesota (2-4) defeated Toronto 4-1. That extended the Twins' winning streak to four games, their longest of the season. Bobby Castillo won that game and on Sunday was a 2-1 winner over the White Sox. That gave Castillo five victories in his last six decisions.
CAL 89-67 KC 85-70 CHI 82-73 SEA 75-80 OAK 66-89 TEX 62-94 MINN 58-97
It was no surprise that Bruce Sutter earned his 34th and 35th saves, or that Joaquin Andujar (15-10) won twice, or that George Hendrick batted .500 for St. Louis (4-3). What was a bit surprising was that Dave LaPoint and John Stuper pitched so splendidly. LaPoint, who hadn't started in 18 days, went eight strong innings against Pittsburgh and won 2-1, thanks to an eighth-inning, run-scoring single by Tommy Herr and Sutter's finishing touch. Stuper, who was 6-14 in the American Association last season, ran his record as a Cardinal to 9-6 by beating Chicago 3-1 on four hits. Andujar hurled a three-hitter against the Cubs, winning 5-1 five days after he and Sutter had beaten the Phillies 4-1. All of which made Manager Whitey Herzog (page 34) breathe easier.
One of the surprising things about Andujar's 4-1 triumph was that Manager Pat Corrales of Philadelphia (3-4) ordered an intentional walk to Keith Hernandez to get at Hendrick, who had already driven in 22 runs against the Phillies this season. Hendrick responded with a two-RBI double. But that wasn't the strangest occurrence. That came when Philly Catcher Ozzie Virgil tried to throw out a runner advancing from first to second on a base on balls. Virgil compounded his gaffe by pegging the ball into center, thereby setting up another St. Louis run. Philadelphia's Steve Carlton ended the Cardinals' eight-game victory streak, winning 5-2 as he struck out 14, and stroked a single and double. That gave Carlton a 35-10 career record against St. Louis.
Carlton (21-11), however, continued to have trouble with the Mets (5-2), his 2-1 loss to Craig Swan dropping his record against them to 26-31. Ron Gardenhire hit .440 and gave New York a 2-1 victory over Montreal when he homered in the 10th.
Chris Speier of the Expos (4-3), who had been hitting .196 with runners in scoring position, had a team-record eight RBIs during an 11-4 rout of the Phils. Although he is hitting .210 (17 for 81) for September, Speier has driven in 22 runs so far this month. Gary Carter, who is batting .296 with 29 home runs, has a chance to become the fifth National League catcher to hit .300 and slug 30 homers in the same season. The others who accomplished that feat were Gabby Hartnett in 1930, Walker Cooper in 1947, Roy Campanella in 1951, '53 and '55 and Joe Torre in 1966.
Pittsburgh (2-5) had little chance of bumping Montreal out of third. But the Pirates did slow down the Cardinals briefly, winning 5-3 with the help of Mike Easler's go-ahead single in the 11th.
"I just hope there are a lot of guys who aren't back here next year," said Manager Lee Elia of the Cubs (3-4). "You get tired looking at garbage in your backyard." And that was after Chicago had defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 and 1-0. Jody Davis' single in the seventh drove in the only run of the second game. Ferguson Jenkins got the win with help from Reliever Bill Campbell. Jenkins won again on Sunday, sidetracking the Cardinals 6-1.
ST.L 90-66 PHIL 84-71 MONT 83-72 PITT 81-74 CHI 69-87 NY 62-93
The San Francisco earthquake reverberated in L.A. The Giants (5-1) defeated Los Angeles 3-2, 5-4 and 3-2 at Dodger Stadium to close to within one game of the lead. In the second of those victories, San Francisco scored twice in the eighth, once after a soft grounder by Chili Davis took a last-instant hop over the head of L.A. Shortstop Bill Russell. The decisive run was then driven in by Joe Morgan's single. Greg Minton pitched two innings of runless relief in each of the wins to notch his 29th and 30th saves. And Al Holland was sensational, running his string of no-hit innings of relief to 17‚Öî before he was nicked for two hits in 3‚Öî innings on Sunday by the Dodgers. That, though, didn't prevent Holland from completing the first three-game sweep by the Giants at Dodger Stadium since 1967 as he locked up a 3-2 triumph for Fred Breining. A two-run homer by Darrell Evans was the big blow for San Francisco in that game. The victory pulled the Giants into a tie with Atlanta for second place. Since Aug. 1 they have gone 34-17. "I have super rhythm right now," said Holland, who has repeatedly pitched the Giants out of Dutch during their prolonged surge.
The Dodgers (0-5) were not unfamiliar with such a resurgence, having stormed from 10½ games back to move into the divisional lead on Aug. 10. Last week, though, the Dodgers couldn't come up with a single victory as they hit a tranquil .227.
The Braves (2-4) helped their cause with 11-6 and 12-6 wipeouts of the Padres. Half of Rafael Ramirez' 10 RBIs and two of his three home runs last week came in the first of those wins. The second victory represented Atlanta's 45th comebacker of the year. Earlier in the week the Braves had faltered against the Astros (5-1). Houston beat Atlanta 4-3, 5-3 and 3-2, making it six straight over the Braves in nine days. During those nine games, Atlanta committed 11 errors that led to 15 unearned runs. The first of Reliever Dave Smith's two wins over the Braves last week came when Dickie Thon doubled in a run in the last of the ninth inning. Nolan Ryan and Bert Roberge combined to shut out Cincinnati 4-0 on Sunday.
San Diego (3-2) split its season series with L.A. 9-9 by winning 3-0 and 2-1. Luis DeLeon worked the final two innings of the opener and locked up John Montefusco's victory with his 14th save. The next day, DeLeon went two more scoreless innings and earned his eighth victory when Alan Wiggins singled home a run in the bottom of the 10th to finish off the Dodgers.
The smallest crowd ever at Riverfront Stadium (6,038) saw the Reds (2-4) beat the Giants 6-5. And only a few more than that were present to see Bruce Berenyi end his string of eight consecutive losses by defeating the Astros 2-0. In this worst of seasons for Cincinnati there remained only one goal during the final week: to avoid being the first Reds club ever to lose 100 games.
LA 85-70 ATL 84-71 SF 84-71 SD 78-77 HOUS 74-81 CIN 57-98
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
RAFAEL RAMIREZ: The Atlanta shortstop batted .407, drove in 10 runs, scored six times, walloped three homers and stole two bases as he helped keep the Braves in contention in the National League West.