St. Louis was on a tear. The Cards' 4-1 victory over the Phils Friday night was their 10th win in 11 games. "Pitching and better luck with our hitting has been the answer," said Manager Red Schoendienst, but the fans were answering, too. Helping Joe Torre protest a decision Tuesday, they showered the field with cups, scorecards, shoes and a small pocketknife.
One of Montreal's few happy moments was Mike Torrez' ninth victory, one that came against his old Cardinal teammates in that debris-delayed game. The Philadelphia front office gave Manager Frank Lucchesi a vote of confidence, but even better for morale was the work of lefty Steve Carlton, who won two games and ran his major league-leading strikeout total to 159 in 144? innings. Lucchesi started giving some of his regulars a day or two of rest, and the result was spectacular. Don Money went 10 for 24, Larry Bowa got four hits in one game and the same day Greg Luzinski hit two singles and a double for three RBIs.
PITT 40-25 NY 41-26 CHI 37-29 ST. L 34-33 MONT 29-38 PHIL 24-42
Oakland's Vida Blue was chased in Chicago after giving up three home runs in 5? innings. He was sporting a 2.93 earned run average, which isn't bad, but the club's overall pitching has been so good that Vida's ERA ranks ninth on the nine-man staff. While Charlie Finley was trading off Denny McLain for a new first baseman, Orlando Cepeda, his present one, Mike Epstein, was battering Chicago with three hits, including a game-winning home run.
Carlos May's mother traveled from Birmingham to Chicago to see him play—for the first time since he became a pro—but Manager Chuck Tanner had left him out of the lineup because of a sore hand. Finding out about mama, Tanner put May back in against Oakland and May proceeded to drive in two runs in a 6-4 White Sox win. Home is where the wins lie for Chicago. As the week ended, the White Sox were 27-5 on the South Side, 12-22 abroad. Dick Allen hit home run No. 14 Friday as the Sox again defeated Oakland, 6-5, denying the A's Ken Holtzman his 12th victory.
Tony Oliva, of no help to Minnesota this season because of an injured right knee, finally gave up and went on the disabled list. "It's no use," said Twins Manager Bill Rigney. "Tony just can't run." The knee, which was operated on last fall, will be doctored again. Pitcher Ray Corbin improved his record to 4-0 with a 2-0 shutout of Kansas City. The Royals continued to get sensational hitting from First Baseman John Mayberry: he batted .600, drove in 11 runs, had four homers and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Recently he has been averaging one broken bat a game. "If I'm breakin' 'em," he said, "they're dyin' in style!" And who was the batting leader of the American League? Outfielder Richie Scheinblum, at .331.
California had a triple play against the Twins, helped by some bonehead base running, and a sudden rash of power and runs gave Rudy May a 12-4 victory over Texas. "That's the most runs they've scored for me in seven years," May said. Texas suffered through severe heat and disappointing hitting. "If [Rich] Billings doesn't drive in the runs, no one does," lamented Manager Ted Williams.
OAK 43-23 CHI 39-27 MINN 35-29 KC 31-33 CAL 31-37 TEX 27-38