- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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NY 78-77 PITT 75-76 MONT 75-78 ST. L 76-79 CHI 75-79 PHIL 68-87
Catfish Hunter of the A's became a 20-game winner for the third straight year, besting the Angels 5-4, but Oakland got some bad news, too, while it waited for the playoffs. Bill North, who had stolen 54 bases, suffered a severe ankle sprain and there is concern over whether he will be ready for Baltimore. Manager Dick Williams is also worried about getting Reggie Jackson completely healthy from a severe groin muscle pull.
The White Sox had the big leagues' first 20-game winner this season, Wilbur Wood, and now it has the first 20-game loser, Stan Bahnsen, who gave up five runs in the first inning in a 9-3 loss to the A's. Wood might also reach that unhappy plateau; he has 19 losses to go with his 24 wins.
The Royals momentarily staved off elimination from the race Saturday when Rick Reichardt hit a two-run homer in the last of the 14th inning for a 5-3 win over Texas. Shortstop Fred Patek, mired in the vicinity of .225 most of the season, drove in four runs as Kansas City routed the White Sox 10-3.
Minnesota lost to Vida Blue, then took three straight from Oakland, giving the Twins an 11-4 season edge over the A's. Said Manager Frank Quilici, who has been rehired for 1974, "If we could have played Oakland all year, we might have been in a battle for first place instead of struggling for third."
Only 2,513 fans showed up to see young David Clyde pitch for the Rangers Friday afternoon. Texas lost to California 6-1, but the rookie lasted 8? innings, and just three of the runs were earned. The Rangers were 3-6 for the week. The Angels' Nolan Ryan continued his hot pitching, striking out seven Rangers and pushing his season total to 355. During the week he broke Bob Feller's all-time American League strikeout record of 348. He also improved his won-loss record to 19-16.
OAK 91-64 KC 84-71 MINN 77-77 CHI 75-80 CAL 73-81 TEX 54-101
Al Bumbry tied a 34-year-old league record by hitting three triples, and Tommy Davis went 4 for 5 as the Orioles clinched the division title with a 7-1 victory over Milwaukee. It was their fourth division championship in five years. "I felt all along we had the best talent and today we proved it," said General Manager Frank Cashen. " Earl Weaver is the guy I'm particularly happy for. He stuck with guys like Earl Williams and Brooks Robinson earlier in the year when they were going bad, and he was vindicated." Said Weaver: "The team we have now is capable of winning six divisional titles in the next 10 years—easy. That would make 10 in 15 years, and if anyone doesn't think that's a dynasty...." After a modest pause Weaver continued, "Winning this title is like '69 all over again, because we've got so many kids on the team who haven't gone through it before."