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THE WEEK
Barry McDermott
July 17, 1972
AL EAST
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July 17, 1972

The Week

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AL EAST

Boston's winning streak went to seven games before Angel Sandy Alomar beat the Sox with a two-out single in the bottom of the 16th inning. Alomar's hit was not the only untimely blow struck in Boston. Earlier, Red Sox Pitcher Luis Tiant and Outfielder Reggie Smith were seen swinging at each other in the Boston runway beyond the dugout. Still, Boston's prospects for a second-half surge seemed good. For the first time in 21 years Red Sox pitchers managed five straight complete games in cramped Fenway Park.

Baltimore moved into first place by shattering Detroit with 21 hits in a 15-3 victory. "Potentially this club is better than any of my three others," said Manager Farl Weaver. The Orioles now have defeated Detroit nine of 13 this year, and things finally appear to be returning to normal for the Birds. Even Boog Powell broke out of his dreadful slump. The first baseman put on glasses and promptly went 10 for 24.

Shuffling his lineup following the Baltimore series, Detroit's Manager Billy Martin moved cleanup hitter Willie Horton to the top of the order, hoping Horton "might hit a home run and get us started." He hit no homer, but his single started a 13-hit attack against the Royals that broke a four-game losing streak.

Despite his impressive record, Sparky Lyle says he really does not deserve a spot on the All-Star team because he is a reliever. But the Yankee ace moved closer to possibly attaining the honor by striking out two of the three men he faced as New York ended its week with an 11-inning, 1-0 victory in Minnesota. It was Lyle's 18th save.

A victory over Vida Blue was one of three wins brewed by Milwaukee. And Cleveland's pitching improved as newly acquired Mike Kilkenny, who has played for four different teams this year, posted a 1.82 ERA.

BALT 40-33 DET 39-33 BOST 34-34 NY 34-36 CLEV 31-40 MIL 29-42

AL WEST

Before the Kansas City Royals took the field against Detroit's Mickey Lolich, they heard some special words of wisdom from Batting Coach Charley Lau: "Get him early. If you don't, you don't get him at all." The Royals scored three runs in the first, sent Lolich to the showers by the sixth and beat him for the first time since September 1969.

The Oakland A's swapped Denny McLain to Atlanta for Orlando Cepeda because they felt Mike Epstein could not hit left-handed pitchers. Epstein promptly started banging out hits against everybody, .579 against lefthanders and .364 against right-handers, and Cepeda, who had complained that the Braves did not play him enough, was on the bench again.

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