The Yankees lost to Detroit when a throw from Centerfielder Elliott Maddox skipped, hit Third Baseman Graig Nettles over the left eye and allowed Bill Freehan to score the winning run in a 3-2 game that moved Detroit into second place. This was the division's oddest contribution to a week filled with mishap, argument, grandeur and farce—a baseball theater of the extraordinary in which Detroit (5-1) had the best record and possibly the best manners.
Fate, however, was tempted. Milwaukee risked a free-beer night—18,871 customers were allowed two cups apiece—but brewed no misbehavior. Behaving ably themselves, the Milwaukee players, paced by Tim Johnson's two hits, beat Baltimore 8-6.
The Indians anticipated real trouble when they visited Boston. They had a 22-12 record against West Division teams, but were just 10-19 in the East. To the rescue came Gaylord Perry (9-1 lifetime against the Red Sox), who won 11-0 on four hits for his 13th straight victory. With approximately 25 starts remaining, he has a good chance to become a 30-game winner.
A hot Boston pitcher, Luis Tiant, beat Oakland 2-1 for his seventh win in his last eight starts. And Baltimore's Mike Cuellar stopped Minnesota 1-0 for his ninth straight.
BOS 38-28 DET 35-30 BALT 34-32 CLEV 33-32 NY 34-35 MIL 31-32
Kansas City's Steve Busby beat Milwaukee 2-0 to become the first no-hit pitcher of 1974 and the first man to throw no-hitters in his first two big-league seasons (he no-hit Detroit 3-0 on April 27, 1973). Busby was a reluctant hero. Recalling remarks roommate Paul Splittorff had made, Busby said, "He told me only certain types of pitchers can throw a no-hitter. He mentioned Nolan Ryan. Then me. I climbed all over him. I'm no no-hit pitcher."
When the Royals heard Carl Yastrzemski quoted as to how poorly the A's, particularly Catfish Hunter, had been playing, they preened into Oakland claiming they would leave there leading the division. Whereupon the A's, stimulated by Hunter's 4-0 shutout pitching, took three straight. Oakland's typically tumultuous week began when Ted Kubiak made a costly base-running mistake and Reggie Jackson and Bill North again clashed—colliding accidentally while chasing a Bill Sudakis fly ball in a 5-3 loss to New York. The A's stayed in first when Texas blew a couple of chances to catch them. But Ferguson Jenkins rebounded, beating California 12-3, his first win since May 22.
Despite a 5-2 week featuring 50 runs in seven games and Jim Kaat's 200th career victory, Chicago had some forgettable moments. Such as the time Ron Santo apparently struck out on a 3-2, two-out pitch with Dick Allen and Ken Henderson running. Minnesota Catcher Randy Hundley, thinking it was strike two and the White Sox were attempting a double steal, threw wildly to third. Allen scored and Henderson was thrown out at home, but the umpires ruled that Santo had ended the inning by indeed striking out. Minnesota won 3-2.