The erratic Red Sox had seemed to have straightened themselves out, winning three in a row from Texas, but then the Angels took back-to-back routs at Fenway Park by a total score of 19-1. After the second pasting Sox Manager Darrell Johnson muttered, "I didn't like a single thing I saw out there."
Milwaukee was brewing with a 5-2 record, which moved it into fourth place. George Scott won one game with a ninth-inning home run and Pedro Garcia won a pair with two more.
Detroit lost five games and power hitter Willie Horton, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an injured leg. Said Manager Ralph Houk, "I wouldn't be surprised if that was it for Willie this year."
BALT 47-39 CLEV 46-39 BOS 47-40
MIL 44-42 NY 44-43 DET 44-43
It was a bad week out West. Minnesota won six and lost two, but the division's other teams had a tough time. The Twins defeated Cleveland in two of three, knocking the Indians from the Eastern lead with a 2-1 win. The deciding run scored on an 11th-inning bunt single by Rod Carew, who continued to float high above the rest of the league's hitters with a .382 average. It was Carew's second bunt hit of the game and his 16th of the season.
California ran its losing streak to 11 straight before the Angels gave Owner Gene Autry a reason to make a congratulatory call to new Manager Dick Williams, who had guided the team to 10 of those defeats. "I've waited two weeks for this call," said Williams after the Angels won 7-0. And the next day the Angels won again 12-1.
Oakland maintained its four-game division lead, even while losing three of five. In one of their wins the A's spoiled Gaylord Perry's bid for his 16th straight victory, Vida Blue outpitching him 4-3. A Family Night crowd of 47,582 turned out for Perry's appearance, despite Oakland's first July rainstorm in 75 years.
Kansas City had three wins, one of them Steve Busby's 12th victory of the season and sixth complete game in his last seven starts. Another player who was a winner even while the Royals lost was Rightfielder Hal McRae. He drove in his 50th run, equaling his RBI output in all of 1973. And after 85 games he was batting .315 with 11 homers. At this time last year those stats read .168 and two.
Chicago lost four of seven, despite the return of Mr. Smoke. Fastball Pitcher Bart Johnson received that nickname in 1971 when he was a hot reliever. Then came knee problems, an operation and very little pitching last year. The White Sox farmed him out this spring and he threatened to quit. Last week the Tigers, who reached him for just two hits and the Orioles, who were defeated 4-3, wished that he had.