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For Houston's Jim York it was the kind of week relievers dream about. Against San Diego he pitched just one-third of an inning and earned a save. He got another with a one-inning workout. Against Montreal he faced only two batters but got a 10-inning 6-5 win. Then he added a third save in a 5-3 victory over the Expos. The Astros won five of seven games for Coach Preston Gomez, tilling in while Manager Leo Durocher was hospitalized with an infection of the lower intestine. Making Gomez' task all the easier was Doug Rader, who hit four homers.
"The kids are different now; they all act like they've been around for six or seven years," said Willie McCovey, the San Francisco philosopher. "But don't ask me where they get all that cool." Three of those kids—Chris Speier, Gary Thomasson and Gary Maddox, average age 22—hit a combined .339 last week and had 12 RBIs. And Jim Willoughby, 24, beat the Cardinals 1-0 with the help of a homer by oldtimer Bobby Bonds, 27. It all added up to six straight wins.
There were eight home runs in the week for Atlanta, two of them by Henry Aaron and Darrell Evans to beat Tom Seaver and the Mets 2-0. Aaron's—career No. 678—was one of two hits he had in 14 times up last week.
San Diego Catcher Fred Kendall, a .216 hitter, put on glasses and last week hit .368 and raised his season's average to .271. The Padres nevertheless lost twice at Wrigley Field, where their overall record is 4-22.
SF 18-5 CIN 12-8 HOUS 13-10 LA 9-11 ATL 7-12 SD 7-14
"We're going to stop giving games away," Montreal Manager Gene Mauch pledged early this year. Alas for the slips between exclamations and the execution thereof. Last week the Expos made 14 errors, giving them 29 in 17 games. With the aid of three errors by their imaginative defense, the Expos came from ahead to lose 7-4 to the Reds. They outhit the Astros 13-7 but blew a 5-2 lead as they erred four times, missed signals and had a runner picked off third base. Again against the Astros, the Expos led by three runs before they came through with four clutch bobbles and nailed down another defeat. But they did beat the Mets 2-1 on Tim Foli's 10th-inning single and overcame the Reds 7-2 with the help of a double by Boots Day, one of five pinch hitters used by Mauch in a seven-run ninth.
Eleven errors and the loss of Ted Sizemore, who was hitting .333 until he pulled a hamstring, were the lowlights of a 1-5 week for St. Louis. Clearly, the Cardinals needed help. A lady fan donated 50 lucky pennies and Pitcher Al Santorini put on a lucky sports coat. With all that—and with the shutout pitching of Rick Wise—the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 2-0. It was the second win for Wise—and the second all month for the Cardinals.