Boston's Luis Tiant, who has won 13 of his last 16 decisions, in which he has a sparkling 1.73 ERA, defeated Texas 3-1, then took off for Mexico to see his wife, who was expecting their third child at any moment. But for the rest of the division the week was a bad trip that ended with a dismal 13-29 record.
Boston was only slightly more effective than its Eastern rivals. The Sox won three times to take first place as Tiant, who also shut out the Angels, brought his record to 14-7. He now has 15 complete games in 23 starts and is in position to improve on his 1973 record of 20 wins and 13 losses.
Lack of clutch hitting left Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver lamenting blown opportunities with men on base. After four straight losses Weaver spent an off day picnicking and possibly nitpicking over what happened to Wayne Garland. Going into the ninth against Oakland with a no-hitter, Garland gave up five runs and lost 6-1. Mike Cuellar was some solace as he beat California for his 13th victory.
Indian Dick Bosnian's 4-0 no-hit win over Oakland (page 22) was almost duplicated the next day when New York's Doc Medich held Kansas City hitless until the ninth. Then two hits and his own wild pitch left Medich with a 6-2 victory.
Milwaukee lost five of seven and fell into fifth place while Detroit dropped six out of seven as Lerrin Lagrow nearly tied a major league high with three wild pitches in one inning. The record of four is held by Walter Johnson.
BOS 50-44 BALT 49-44 CLEV 48-44 NY 47-47 MIL 46-47 DET 45-49
It was a typical week for Oakland which maintained its 4�-game lead and had another clubhouse hassle. Proclaiming, "I am the manager," upstaged Alvin Dark finally took action against his nettlesome pitchers, fining Ken Holtzman and Vida Blue $250 each for flipping the ball to him in anger when he took them out. "I don't want to play catch out there," Alvin said darkly. Nonetheless, the A's won six games, including three straight from Baltimore and yet another from Indian Gaylord Perry, whom they have defeated 10 times in 12 meetings.
Chicago toddled through six games without a loss as Pitcher Wilbur Wood won his 16th and Dick Allen ended a mini-slump with his 24th and 25th home runs. Both marks top the majors.