With 18 days left in the season DETROIT was an impossible 10 games behind the Orioles. Six days and five straight wins over the Orioles later, the Tigers were just five games back. Two of the victories were picked up by Fred Scherman, first when he pitched 8? innings in relief, then when he made his first start of the year and won 5-3. Mickey Lolich also beat the Orioles twice, pitching a pair of six-hitters and striking out 19. In the second victory, he drove in both runs to win 2-1. That gave him 25 victories, the most in the majors. BALTIMORE, however, won the last game of the series 8-1 as Mike Cuellar gained his 19th win, and any Tiger pennant hopes were about over. Prior to that, though, Oriole pitchers had given up 42 runs in seven games, six of them losses. Frank Robinson had an inkling he would hit his 500th home run in a game early in the week against the Tigers, so he ordered champagne ($49.68 worth) for the clubhouse before play began. Robinson hit No. 500 and, even though the Orioles lost 10-5, they celebrated with Frank's champagne. WASHINGTON pitchers had another unhappy week. Denny McLain dropped his 20th game and Dick Bosman, who lost his 15th, had his wallet stolen for the third time in two years. The Senators did manage to hold CLEVELAND to a 16-inning 5-5 standoff in which 44 players, including a record 15 pitchers, were used. Asserting that he was more interested in testing new talent than in finishing third, BOSTON Manager Eddie Kasko made liberal use of Juan Beniquez, Cecil Cooper, Carlton Fisk, Mike Garman, Rick Miller, Rogelio Moret and Ben Oglivie. The Sox lost 5 of 8 games and dropped to within a half game of the fourth-place NEW YORK Yankees. Bobby Murcer returned to the Yankee lineup after missing nine games because of an attack of kidney stones. He went 8 for 15, batted in five runs, helped the Yankees win six of eight and picked up eight points on batting leader Tony Oliva of the Twins, who is out for the year with knee surgery. Murcer's rush put him within seven points of Oliva's .337 average.
BALT 91-57 DET 88-66 BOST 80-74 NY 79-74 WASH 59-90 CLEV 57-94