Boston continued its Fenway Park mastery over the Yankees—the Red Sox are 18-1 since August 1972—by scoring a run off ex-teammate Sparky Lyle in the last of the ninth to win 5-4. Luis Tiant went all the way in that victory to post the Sox' eighth complete game in their last 11 contests; Boston won only five of the 11 because of inconsistent hitting. Carl Yastrzemski was one man the pitchers certainly could not blame for nonsupport. Yaz hasn't hit 20 home runs or .300 since 1970, but he may do both this year. He raised his average to .333 on a nine-game road trip and four of his hits were homers, including his 12th of the year and the 300th of his career.
The Perry brothers drew two crowds of more than 40,000 into Cleveland Stadium, but both throngs went away disappointed. First the A's beat brother Jim 6-3, as Ted Kubiak, substituting for injured Sal Bando, singled home two runs. Then the Orioles tied brother Gaylord with three runs in the ninth and handed him his third loss in a row with four more in the 11th. Baltimore"s defeat of Perry, in which Rich Coggins got five hits and Bobby Grich, Paul Blair and Tommy Davis socked home runs, was the Orioles' only win in five tries.
New York's team physician, Dr. Sydney Gaynor, has been unable to do much for the Yankees' injured pitchers, Mel Stottlemyre and Rudy May, but Doc Medich's mound medicine has been curative enough to bring New York from seven games behind to within two of the division lead in the last month. Medich won five straight as the Yanks took 15 of 21 games.
When Milwaukee starter Billy Champion was relieved by Kevin Kobel, with the Brewers leading Baltimore 5-0, he had reasonable cause for concern. It was the third time in Champion's last five starts that Manager Del Crandall had removed him in the midst of a shutout attempt and Champion's relief had dissipated the leads in the previous two. Sure enough, by the time Crandall yanked Kobel from the game the score was 5-3. Tom Murphy replaced him and threw 3? hitless innings to preserve Champion's fifth win.
Struggling with a .241 team batting average, Detroit is still in the race only because the Eastern leaders keep bumping each other off. The Tigers have lost 15 of their last 18 games, but trail by a mere six games.
BOS 52-46 CLEV 51-46 NY 50-48 BALT 50-48 MIL 48-50 DET 46-52
Deep in a 7 for 49 slump and unable to play in the All-Star Game because of an injured ankle, Oakland's Sal Bando needed something to occupy his mind and body during the midseason break. His choice of distractions was limited, since his doctor had ordered him to stay off his feet. So Bando decided to wash away his troubles with a swim. While doing the crawl, he evidently discovered his hitting stroke as well. As the season resumed, Bando hit two homers to help Vida Blue defeat the Twins 5-1.
"I get sick every time I come to New York," said Kansas City's Freddie Patek, striking a verbal blow for the rest of the nation's out-of-towners. Recuperating on the Shea Stadium bench certainly did not make Patek feel any better. The speedy shortstop could only watch as five of his teammates were gunned down trying to steal or take an extra base in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees.