Minnesota (6-1), aided by 10 homers of its own and 11 errors by its opponents, held on to its half-game lead. More than anything, though, it was the fine pitching of Jim Kaat (two wins, including a 10-inning shutout), Dean Chance (two wins, including his 20th of the season) and Dave Boswell and Jim Merritt (each pitched a two-hitter) that enabled the Twins to survive. In 54 innings of pitching this month, Joe Horlen of CHICAGO (4-2) has given up only 23 hits and three runs. Last week he shut out both the Angels and Indians, brought his won-lost record to 19-6 and his league-leading ERA down to 2.04. BOSTON (6-2) knocked off the Tigers twice, Carl Yastrzemski tying the first game with a home run in the ninth and Dalton Jones winning it with a home run in the 10th. Then a three-run Red Sox rally in the ninth decided the second contest. BALTIMORE (6-3) moved up from eighth place to sixth by slowing down the Red Sox 10-0 on Jim Hardin's five-hitter and 7-5 on Brooks Robinson's two-run homer. Frank Robinson finally received the MVP plaque that he earned a year ago, then went out and hit his seventh home run in the 11 games he has played against the Red Sox this season. DETROIT (3-3) bounced back from its two losses to the Red Sox when it got complete-game wins from Joe Sparma, Earl Wilson and Mickey Lolich, but then along came WASHINGTON (2-5). The Senators, frantically trying to climb back to the No. 6 position they had been dislodged from after two months, stunned the Tigers with a three-run rally in the last of the ninth to win 5-4. Rick Reichardt of CALIFORNIA (3-3) said, "My mind is so active that it's difficult to concentrate on the game at times." Replied Manager Bill Rigney: "He'll have to learn that he can't play baseball and the stock market at the same time." Reichardt's concentration was faultless in the ninth inning against the White Sox when he drove in the winning run. Tony Horton of CLEVELAND (2-4) also beat the White Sox when he homered in the 13th. Jim Hunter of KANSAS CITY (1-6) pitched a pair of five-hitters, losing 2-0 in 10 innings to the Twins, then beating the Angels 3-1. Jim Nash, who was 12-1 and had a 2.06 ERA as a rookie last year, lost his 16th game and his ERA ballooned to 3.87. NEW YORK (1-5) scored only three runs in four games before defeating the Twins 6-2 on Tom Shopay's three-run homer and the five-hit pitching of Fritz Peterson and Dooley Womack, who earned his 16th save.
Standings: Minn 90-67, Bos 90 68, Chi 89-68, Get 38-68, Cal 80-74, Balt 73-84, Clev 73-85, Wash 72-84, NY 67-89, KC 60-95
Bob Gibson of ST. LOUIS (4-3) pitched a three-hitter, Dick Hughes beat the Phillies 1-0 and Steve Carlton struck out 16 men in eight innings in World Series tune-ups for the Cardinals, who won their 11th pennant in 42 seasons. In the wake of the Cardinals' overwhelming surge came outraged cries from general managers of opposing teams who were no longer enamored of the players they praised so lavishly last spring. Said Paul Richards of ATLANTA (2-5), "We'll trade anybody—Aaron, Torre, anybody." Buzzie Bavasi of LOS ANGELES (2-4) said, "All year our fans have watched players who got us where we are [eighth place]. Let 'em look at some new players next season." Pat Jarvis of the Braves and Don Sutton of the Dodgers pitched their best games in weeks. Jarvis stopped the Cardinals on three hits for his 15th win; Sutton beat the Phillies with a five-hitter, SAN FRANCISCO (4-1) had an abundance of fine pitching, as well as some clutch hitting. Mike McCormick became the league's first 20-game winner. Gaylord Perry won his 15th game and Ray Sadecki beat the Pirates 1-0 on Tom Haller's ninth-inning homer. Willie McCovey gave the Giants a fourth straight win with a grand-slam homer in the eighth against PITTSBURGH (2-4). The only note of encouragement for the Pirates was a 440-foot home run by 20-year-old Bob Robertson, who may well be their first baseman next year if Donn Clendenon is traded, as is expected. CHICAGO (2-3), behind the pitching of Joe Niekro and Ferguson Jenkins (who won his 19th game), twice defeated CINCINNATI (4-2) and assured itself of finishing in the first division for the first time in 21 years. Reliever Ted Abernathy helped Mel Queen and Gary Nolan pick up their 14th wins. Jim Bunning of PHILADELPHIA (3-3) lost his fourth 1-0 game of the season, then came back to beat the Dodgers 4-0 for his 17th victory. HOUSTON (4-3) beat the Pirates with a 15-hit outburst one day and again on a two-run pinch single by Ron Davis in the ninth inning. Wes Westrum resigned as the NEW YORK (4-3) manager because, as he put it, "I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel." Interim Manager Salty Parker got two wins over the Astros on Jerry Buchek's timely hits. Buchek tied a Met record by driving in six runs in one game with two three-run homers, one in the 10th inning. That was the fourth time this season that Buchek had won a game with a last-inning homer. Buchek also won the next game 1-0 with a single in the ninth.
Standings: StL 98-59, SF 85-69, Cin 84-72, Chi 84-73, Phil 80-74, Pitt 77-79, All 76-80, LA 70-85, Hou 65-91, NY 59-96