Two items of bad news from New York: Shortstop Bud Harrelson was sidelined for at least a month (except for pinch running) with a broken hand, and Reliever Tug McGraw, back after a month, gave up the deciding run in a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles.
PHIL 33-28 ST. L 30-29 MONT 27-27 CHI 24-32 NY 24-35 PITT 23-34
When California Manager Bobby Winkles threatened to remove Nolan Ryan after 12 innings against Boston, Ryan was aghast. "But I haven't broken my record yet."
"Record? What record?"
"Most pitches in a game," said Ryan.
In his pursuit of this questionable distinction Ryan was permitted another inning. He fell six short of his own mark of 241, but did establish a club high of 19 strikeouts—two below the major league record for extra-inning games. Reliever Barry Raziano was the winner as Denny Doyle's 15th-inning double beat the Bosox 4-3. The Angels' top pitcher, Bill Singer, was lost for at least eight weeks, possibly the season, because of back surgery, and California may well establish another record of sorts—a man on the disabled list every day of the season.
Cedric Tallis' performance as Kansas City general manager was regarded as superior by just about everyone but Owner Ewing Kauffman, who demoted him to "Vice-President—Baseball." Whereupon the team Tallis built swept four straight one-run victories. Paul Splittorff won his first game since May 24, Steve Busby his first since May 21, Al Fitzmorris went 33 innings without walking a batter, and John Mayberry delighted some 20 hometown friends in Detroit with a three-run homer. The Royals passed Chicago, a team that could do nothing right, nor win a game. Ron Santo made three physical and a couple of mental errors at second base; two errors by Dick Allen offset the joy of his 300th homer earlier in the week.
Things remained topsy-turvy in Oakland. The A's were 2-6 after the Reggie Jackson-Bill North fight, but Jackson and North were seen talking. "Stoppers" Ken Holtzman, Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue collectively were 21-20. The A's stayed ahead of Texas when Joe Rudi hit a grand slam and Sal Ban-do a three-run homer in a 9-1 victory over New York. The Rangers, however, kept gunning. They have won five of their last six series and Jackie Brown (6-2) has won all five games he has started.
Joe Decker (7-4) five-hit Cleveland 8-2 to give Minnesota a 2-4 week, but better-known Twins were stumbling. Bert Blyleven (5-9), wondering if "they were using voodoo on me," lost twice and Harmon Killebrew was replaced at first by rookie Craig Kusick.