The base running of Mike Marshall and the slugging of Davey Lopes were improbable boosts for Los Angeles. It was unsurprising that Marshall hurled six scoreless innings of relief against Chicago, but it was startling when he scored the winning run in the 12th by galloping home from second base on an infield out. The next day Lopes, who had hit only three homers all season, unloaded three in an 18-8 romp over the Cubs and barely missed a fourth when he doubled high off the wall. Then Lopes climaxed a 4-2 week for the Dodgers with another extraordinary performance. He equaled a 70-year-old league record by stealing five bases to help Don Sutton defeat the Cardinals 3-0. Lopes was out trying for a sixth.
Cincinnati maintained its relentless pursuit of the Dodgers by winning five of six games. Joe Morgan drove in seven runs in one game, and Johnny Bench four in another. For Bench, who had eight RBIs for the week, it was the continuation of a prolonged batting surge during which he has driven across 48 runs in 44 contests.
Atlanta topped off a 6-1 week by sweeping three games from New York, including its first doubleheader triumph since July 1972. Darrell Evans had four homers, Henry Aaron batted .381 and Tom House yielded just one run in 11 ? innings of relief.
Houston, 5-1, received superb pitching from Larry Dierker, who baffled the Phillies 1-0, and Dave Roberts, who also stopped Philadelphia 1-0 and added another shutout against Montreal.
San Francisco, 2-4, and San Diego, 1-4, were the West's only losers. The Giants, who have done a lot of backward things this year, defeated the Pirates 8-7 with the aid of Mike Caldwell, who had retired to the clubhouse before pitching. And there he was as his teammates rallied for five ninth-inning runs. He wandered out again and volunteered to pitch—and went back to the clubhouse a few minutes later with his 12th win after the Giants scored the deciding run in the 10th. Willie McCovey's third homer in as many games gave Dave Freisleben of the Padres a 3-0 win over the Expos.
LA 79-47 CIN 77-50 ATL 70-56 HOUS 65-60 SF 56-71 SD 49-77
The low point of a dismal 2-4 week for St. Louis was an 11-6 loss to Atlanta in which the Cardinals squandered a 5-0 lead. The Cards could not fault Lou Brock as they allowed their lead to shrink to one game. He stole six bases to bring his season total to 88 and beat Dodger Mike Marshall 2-1 with a ninth-inning hit.
Pittsburgh, 3-2, was the only team in the division with a winning record. Richie Zisk batted .550, Rennie Stennett averaged .458 and Dock Ellis stopped the Giants 4-2 for his seventh straight win.