The Giants would do almost anything to score a run. Dave Rader even crawled the last few feet to home plate after being knocked down in a melee between the Giants and the Cubs Mostly, though, San Francisco got runs by more normal slugging. Four of its five wins were due largely to 10 home runs, one a 500-footer by Willie McCovey. Bobby Bonds socked three, had 11 hits, scored 11 runs and drove in seven.
Of all last week's sluggers, Cincinnati's Johnny Bench was the robustest, with 14 RBIs and five homers, a record-tying four of them in a row. Three of his HRs and seven of his RBIs came in one game against Steve Carlton of the Phillies, yet it took a two-run blast by Dave Concepcion to seal the win, 9-7. Next, the Reds had their troubles in Houston, losing two as the Astros took four of five for the week (page 42).
For the first time, Dave Johnson batted cleanup, and bunted his first time up. Thereafter he showed more punch, hitting three home runs, including a grand slam, as Atlanta won three out of five.
Over the past two years, Don Sutton of the Dodgers gave up an average of only one homer every 23 innings. Then, boom—or boom, boom, boom, boom, boom to be exact—and he lost to the Pirates 5-4. All last year the Pirates had hit only four homers in Los Angeles, but once they found the range—or the pepped-up balls—they kept hitting them. In the next two contests Pittsburgh put five more into the seats, but lost twice to the Dodgers, anyhow.
San Diego should change its initials to LSD, for the Padres have been on some bad trips. By losing to the Braves 14-2 their road record became 1-10. At home, however, the Padres moved up to 10-11 as they got consecutive two-hit wins from Mike Caldwell and Bill Greif.
SF 25-11 HOUS 22-11 CIN 18-13 LA 18-15 ATL 11-18 SD 11-21