Speaking of Clyde, he lost in his third outing—to Milwaukee 17-2, although he was not as bad as the two relievers who followed him, giving up but four earned runs. His record is now 1-1. Texas found some pitching solace in two complete-game victories by veteran Jim Merritt and a second straight strong performance by Jim Bibby, who has allowed no earned runs and a mere five hits in his last two starts.
OAK 47-38 KC 47-40 MINN 43-37 CAL 42-38 CHI 42-39 TEX 29-51
When your left-field fence is as close as the one in Fenway Park (315 feet) it does not pay to carry many lefthanders on your pitching staff. Boston never has, but Red Sox Manager Eddie Kasko found a way to throw three southpaws at first-place New York in a five-game series at Yankee Stadium. The goal was to avoid .397-hitter Ron Blomberg, who only bats against righties, and the results were most rewarding. First, John Curtis shut out the Yankees 1-0. Roger Moret won by the same score in a Fourth of July doubleheader sweep (righty Ray Culp taking the other game), and Bill Lee finished the series with his 10th win.
The Yankees salvaged their lone win behind a three-run homer by Blomberg and yet another save by Sparky Lyle, who has rescued 22 games, singlehandedly tying the league's next best bullpen—Detroit's. Carl Yastrzemski had forecast the Red Sox, mastery. "When I said we'd win four out of five in New York, it wasn't really a prediction," he explained, "it was a need." By taking seven of nine games during the week, the Red Sox moved into third, only 1� games out.
Detroit got a team-record 35th shutout from Mickey Lolich and also won the American League's first pitching duel between brothers, although both Jim Perry and the Indians' Gaylord (page 22) took showers well ahead of schedule. The Tigers lost three of four at the end of the week to wind up in fourth, there only by the grace of Milwaukee, which continued its slump, dropping five of eight.
Come back for the comeback billboards have urged Baltimore fans all season. For a while this looked like the week. After dropping a doubleheader to the Tigers and the opening game of a four-game series to the Brewers, the Orioles rallied from deficits of 7-3, 4-1 and 5-0 to win three straight. In so doing they scored 12 eighth-inning runs, confirming the worst fears of Brewer fans, who had shuddered when Milwaukee dealt four pitchers to the Phillies in the off-season to gain extra hitting. Rich Coggins batted in the tie breaker in the third Bird win with an eighth-inning single to the wrong field. "I took a very unorthodox cut," he said, "and when I hit it, I said 'Aw, nuts.' Yet it beat a guy in a ball game."
But alas, the Orioles managed only a 4-5 week when they fell short two out of three times in catch-up games in Oakland.
The Indians, on a treadmill, lost six of eight. General Manager Phil Seghi said the team's most critical problem was "a lackluster approach." Among Indians lacking luster was Outfielder George Hendrick, who was fined for nonhustle.
NY 47-39 BALT 41-36 BOST 42-37 DET 42-41 MIL 40-41 CLEV 29-55