Kansas City rehired Manager Bob Lemon and also had a message for his players that sounded suspiciously like a threat. "The future of every player will be affected by his performance in the remaining games." While MILWAUKEE General Manager Marvin Milkes was figuring out ways to boost the Brewers' home attendance over a million, his team went 0-for-six and Pitcher Skip Lockwood watched his record drop to 1-10. Said the undaunted Lockwood, "I'm learning something every time I pitch." The most improbable turn of events of the week came in Boston when previously hapless CHICAGO scored 11 runs in the top of the ninth (tying a league record) to beat the Red Sox 13-5 and end a six-game losing streak.
MINN 73-50 CAL 69-56 OAK 68-58 KC 48-77 MIL 46-80 CHI 46-83
Montreal failed to get out of the cellar, but it was still a good week. The Expos won for the first time ever in Cincinnati. The victory, their 52nd, tied their total for all of last year. On Friday, in the opening game of a home series against Atlanta, Carl Morton beat the Braves 6-4 for his 15th win, putting him ahead of Cincinnati's Wayne Simpson as the league's winningest rookie. And on Saturday night the Expos not only beat the Braves 4-1 to match their longest winning streak in 1970; they also drew a near-capacity crowd of 27,037 to go over the million mark in home attendance.
League-leading PITTSBURGH split six starts last week but did have Bob Robertson to solace Pirate spirits. He now has 19 homers in 294 at bats. At that rate, he could hit 35 to 40 homers a season. "I think I'd help more if I played more," Robertson said.
The NEW YORK Mets stayed in second, although there were games in which they fumbled and bumbled in the best Marvelous Marv tradition. Even Shortstop Bud Harrelson got caught up in the general ineptness, making two errors in one game after tying a league record with 54 straight errorless games.
Chicago bombed San Diego 12-2 and San Francisco 15-0 but lost ground in a mediocre week. Bob Gibson of ST. LOUIS complained of lack of sleep, then almost pitched a no-hitter while beating San Diego 7-0. Gibson has won six in a row and 16 of his last 18, which is almost as impressive as his .326 batting average and 17 RBIs.
PITT 70-57 NY 66-59 CHI 65-62 ST. L 60-66 PHIL 57-69 MONT 55-70
Instead of The Big Red Machine, CINCINNATI played more like The Big Red Edsel, as one sign in New York's Shea Stadium had it, but Catcher Johnny Bench stayed in high gear. His two-run double in the top of the ninth beat the Mets 3-2 on Saturday, and the next day, in a 5-4 loss, he hit his 42nd home run of the year to break the alltime record for home runs by a catcher in one season (set by Roy Campanella in 1953). LOS ANGELES was still a safe 11� games behind. The Dodgers won nine of 12 during one stretch, and their .274 team batting average is only a point behind Cincinnati's.