It was DETROIT Reliever Bill Denehy who stung BOSTON'S Reggie Smith with a pitched ball, but the man who came away feeling sore was Tiger Manager Billy Martin. After the game, which the Tigers lost 12-11, Martin encountered Smith at Fenway Park. Calmly putting down his pipe and his Western novel, Martin asked the Red Sox outfielder, "You looking for me?" "What's your problem?" Smith replied. "You're the one with the problem," said Martin. "Your mouth." At that, Smith, who is 17 years younger and about 20 pounds heavier, reportedly made a move at Martin, only to be halted by police, who were obviously aware of Martin's unblemished record in his previous bouts. "Do us a favor and don't hit him, Bill," the cops pleaded. Martin pulled his punches until later, when he said, "He'd have been a sucker for a right." While the Tigers and Sox battled for second BALTIMORE opened a nine-game lead, its longest of the season. The Orioles looked stronger than at any time this year with Jim Palmer pitching his second consecutive four-hit victory and lefty Dave McNally off the disabled list. Although still bothered slightly by the sore elbow that kept him inactive for a month, McNally allowed only three hits in the six innings he pitched in his first start. NEW YORK failed to hit a home run all week, as did WASHINGTON, which averaged a mere 4.5 hits a game. In CLEVELAND the Indians were worried about homers of another sort. It is rumored that the Tribe will play part of its home schedule in New Orleans in 1974, and the players are threatening to take the issue to their lawyer. "We'd be on the road almost all year," complained Outfielder Ted Uhlaender. "What will be our home park? Where will we settle our families? What will Cleveland fans think of all this?"
BALT 71-44 DET 65-54 BOST 64-56 NY 60-61 WASH 49-70 CLEV 48-72