Earl Williams hit his first homer since April 22, Boog Powell his first since April 27 and Brooks Robinson his first since May 1 as Baltimore took four of six and climbed over the .500 plateau. Augmenting their power at bat, the Orioles showed speed of foot. They stole 11 bases, giving them 54 in 71 attempts and putting them within easy reach of last season's total of 78 and their alltime high of 97 a decade ago.
NY 30-25 DET 29-25 BALT 25-24 MIL 26-27 BOS 25-26 CLEV 20-34
"What I'm looking for and am determined to get is consistency from my pitchers," said Ranger Manager Whitey Herzog. His pitchers were certainly consistent last week; they gave up lots of hits and runs almost daily. Herzog, though, was pleased with Don Stanhouse, who blanked the Yankees for 8? innings in relief for his first win as the Rangers fought from five runs down to take the game 7-5.
While Oakland (page 20) lingered in fifth place, Kansas City struggled to stay ahead of the A's. After squeezing by the Indians 5-4 with a three-run ninth climaxed by Amos Otis' two-out, two-run hit, the Royals lost five in a row. Bringing about the sudden downfall was out-of-sight pitching that yielded nine homers, 41 runs and 33 walks.
Bill Singer of the Angels won his 10th game, beating Detroit 7-4, and Nolan Ryan pulled the Tigers' tail 3-0. But the Angels were winless in four other outings.
When Twin Pitcher Bert Blyleven was not stilling opposing batters he was fiddling with a handkerchief placed at the front of the mound. What kind of hanky-panky was this? Pitching Coach Al Worthington explained: "The idea was for him to pitch and follow through, picking up the handkerchief after releasing the ball." That, plus other repair work on the faulty delivery he had fallen into earlier this season, has enabled Blyleven to win five of his past six games. Last week he stopped the Orioles 2-0 on two singles, slicing his earned run average during those six starts to 1.00.
For the White Sox it was a so-so, 3-3 week. Wilbur Wood lost for the fifth time, won for the 14th. Things could have been worse but for some fortuitous happenings during one wacky inning in which the Orioles had a triple, single, stolen base, two walks and the benefit of an error—and failed to score. The Orioles led off that inning with a triple. One out later came a grounder to third base on which the runner at third was thrown out at home. A steal and an overthrow on the play put another Bird on third. Two walks loaded the bases. The final batter's grounder hit the runner going to second, resulting in an automatic single and out. It all helped Chicago to win 3-2 and to end a five-game losing streak.
CHI 30-20 MINN 29-22 CAL 27-25 KC 30-28 OAK 28-28 TEX 18-33