Chicago (5-2), getting fine pitching from Joe Horlen and Gary Peters as well as clutch hits from Gerry McNertney, Tommie Agee and Wayne Causey, moved back into first place. Horlen, who is unbeaten, stopped the Red Sox on two hits, and Peters shut out the Yankees, the seventh win for each. DETROIT (3-4) players engaged in four on-field brawls, which, like all such baseball fisticuffs, wound up as draws. Still, that was better than the Tigers did with their bats. Their home-run production dropped off sharply and could not compensate for their mediocre pitching. Denny McLain gave up his 16th home run in 13 games. Jim Fregosi of CALIFORNIA (6-2) beat the Tigers 6-4 with a three-run, ninth-inning homer. Jim McGlothlin (below) started the Angels on a five-game win streak by shutting out the Orioles. "Homers," said Curt Blefary of BALTIMORE (4-5), "are the root of all evil. You hit a couple and every time up you're looking to hit the ball out. First thing you know, you're in a slump." Blefary's disdain for the home run did not prevent him from hitting three in one game against the Angels. After Carl Yastrzemski of BOSTON (3-4) heard that White Sox Manager Eddie Stanky had said he was an All-Star "only from the neck down," he pounded out six hits in nine at bats during a doubleheader. Sam Mele had no sooner brought his family to MINNESOTA (4-4) for their annual month's vacation than he learned he had been fired as manager. He was replaced by Cal Ermer, manager of the Twins' farm club at Denver in the Pacific Coast League. Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, long dormant, came to life in Ermer's second game. Kaat won for the first time since April 22, Oliva homered for the first time since April 23. Fred Whitfield and Max Alvis of CLEVELAND (4-5) both hit two-run, game-winning homers. Sam McDowell gave up 10 hits and eight runs in five innings during two starts, and there was concern that he had lost his fast ball. "I'm concentrating on other things now," said McDowell, not explaining what the "other things" were. Chuck Dobson and Jim Hunter of KANSAS CITY (4-5) pitched back-to-back shutouts against the Indians, and newcomer Dave Duncan homered in his first big-league at bat. Frank Howard hit four homers, but WASHINGTON (3-6) managed to sink into last place. When Joe Verbanic of NEW YORK (5-4) beat the Senators 6-0 it was the eighth shutout of the year for the Yankees, most for any team in either league and one more than the Yanks had all last season.
Standings: Chi 31-20, Det 31-22, Balt 27-24, Bos 27-26, Minn 27-27, Cleve 27-27, NY 25-28, KC 26-30, Cal 25-32, Wash 23-32
Pete Rose of CINCINNATI (4-4) had 12 RBIs last week and the Reds, whose pitching was faltering, needed every one of them. Jim Maloney, plagued by shoulder trouble, failed to finish for the ninth time in 10 starts. Rookie Gary Nolan pitched spectacularly, yet failed to win. He struck out 15 SAN FRANCISCO (3-3) batters in 7[2/3] innings ( Willie Mays four times), only to be driven from the game by Willie McCovey's three-run homer. In the clubhouse, Nolan spoke about McCovey's home run and said, "I cried." Juan Marichal said of Nolan's performance, "Unbelievable. Fifteen strikeouts using a fast ball and nothing else." McCovey hit two other homers last week, each leading to a victory. What's more, he became the first Giant to steal a base this season. The Giants' slothfulness on the bases gives them a good chance to break the major league record for fewest stolen bases in a season (13 by the Senators in 1957). ST. LOUIS (5-3) and PITTSBURGH (3-4) wavered. The Cardinals lost three in a row to the Astros, one by a score of 17-1, but then won five straight as they got game-winning hits from Roger Maris and Mike Shannon. After losing a doubleheader to the Mets, the Pirate players had a clubhouse meeting, with Manager Harry Walker and coaches not invited. Explaining the reason for the session, Roberto Clemente said, "Ball club's dead." Apparently reincarnated, the Pirates beat the Mets 3-0 and whipped the Phillies 16-1 and 4-3. ATLANTA (5-2) Manager Billy Hitchcock fined several players for violating the club curfew, and the Braves broke loose, hit 10 homers in seven games and won five times. Two of the wins went to Denny Lemaster, now 7-1. CHICAGO (5-2) clung to fifth place thanks to 18 homers (six by Adolfo Phillips, four by Randy Hundley), plus two wins by Ferguson Jenkins, who brought his record to 8-3. LOS ANGELES (1-7), as usual, had trouble scoring. When the Dodgers did manage seven runs against the Cardinals, the once-impervious bullpen squandered the opportunity and for the fourth time last week blew the game. It all added up to seven straight losses, the longest Dodger losing streak since 1964. Mike Cuellar of HOUSTON (4-4) beat both the Reds and Cardinals as the Astros, with Bob Aspromonte hitting .455, defeated the league's top two teams four times. After playing good, tight ball early in the week, NEW YORK (2-4) became unraveled and lost to the Cubs 18-10. Conversely, PHILADELPHIA (4-3) gave up 50 runs in six games (the Phillies won two of them with late rallies), then wound up with a 14-1 victory over the Pirates.
Standings: Cin 38-21, StL 32-20, SF 31-23, Pitt 28-23, Chi 28-24, Atl 27-27, Phil 25-27, LA 21-34, Hou 21-35, NY 17-34