When Earl Weaver was quoted as saying that MINNESOTA was hustling more this year under Bill Rigney than last year under Billy Martin, the latter reacted: "Let me say, I could win with the Baltimore team under any condition: a salami and a pizza in my mouth, two big cheeses in my ears, blindfolded and not knowing the situation." He also promised to belt Weaver—if he ever got back into baseball. Cesar Tovar took off on the hit-and-run and was past second base when Rod Carew's fly to center was caught. Tovar raced back to first in time but without touching second as prescribed. Weaver came out to protest, and time was called. Tovar, standing on first, was told by Baltimore First Baseman Boog Powell that he hadn't touched second. So he ran over and slid into that base. Then, tired of all the embarrassment and hassle, he got up and went to the dugout. Teammate Rich Reese told him to go back to first, but Tovar said, "No way." Baltimore threw to first, and Tovar was out on a five-minute double play. CALIFORNIA was hot on the Twins' heels, thanks in large part to a brilliant bullpen. Ken Tatum, Greg Garrett, Eddie Fisher and Paul Doyle were 6-1 and had a collective 1.03 ERA for the year. OAKLAND was hanging in there in third place, waiting for Reggie Jackson to start hitting. "My roomie," said Chuck Dobson of Jackson, "is a fine and sensitive athlete. He may seem to be laughing it off but I know he's dying." Luis Aparicio of CHICAGO, leading the league at the time with a .370 average, was asked if he'd ever had so high a mark five weeks into the season. "No," he said, "not even in Venezuela." KANSAS CITY southpaw Jim Rooker said, "I just don't feel comfortable here. I wish Metro would get rid of me." Then he pitched an 11-inning complete-game victory and drove in five runs himself. The MILWAUKEE Brewers beat the Braves, formerly of that city, in an exhibition game 1-0. It didn't count.
MINN 22-10 CAL 23-12 OAK 18-18 CHI 15-19 KC 13-21 MIL 11-23