Milwaukee, 5-3, briefly revived its pennant hopes. Second Baseman Pedro Garcia came through with a last-out, game-saving fielding play to thwart the Yankees 3-2 and Gorman Thomas, fresh up from the Pacific Coast League, where he hit 51 homers, drove in two runs to edge the Red Sox 4-3.
"We clutch up," was Manager Ken Aspromonte's bitter appraisal of his Indians, who lost six of eight. John Miller of the Tigers tied the league record for relief wins (16).
NY 74-64 BALT 73-65 BOS 73-65 CLEV 67-70 MIL 67-73 DET 64-75
"Somebody is gonna scramble some eggs," said the Cardinals' Lou Brock of the continuing struggle for first place. But Pittsburgh maintained its 1�-game lead over St. Louis as both had sunny-side-up 6-1 records. Late-inning, game-winning hits by Brock and Jim Dwyer, three homers by Reggie Smith and two wins by Bob Gibson kept the Cardinals aloft. And Brock stole eight bases to reach 101, four short of a new record.
Pittsburgh's opponents were in a quandary: they needed runs, but when they got a few they awakened the Pirate offense, which scored many. Five times the Pirates came from behind to win. Willie Stargell batted .444 (his average since July 15 is .388), Al Oliver .379 and Richie Zisk had 10 RBIs. Even Pitcher Jim Rooker joined the barrage. "I don't want to sound like a pop-off, but all you hear around here is Kenny Brett," he said. "I think I can hit as well as him." After going 3 for 4, Rooker was hitting .329 for the year, 43 points higher than Brett.
No one was more disconsolate about the vigorous Pirate offense than the Phillies, losers of three straight in Pittsburgh. "They take the joy out of pitching," said Wayne Twitchell, who was tagged for seven runs in 4? innings. Steve Carlton had a 3-1 lead over the Pirates, then had the ground crew work for 16 minutes fixing the mound to his liking—and lost 7-4. But joy in hitting continued for Philadelphia's Dave Cash, who batted .400 while the Phillies split eight games.
Rusty Staub of the Mets zonked the Braves 6-5 with a two-run single in the eighth, Tug McGraw pitched his first-ever shutout against them the next day and the New Yorkers sashayed into fourth place by sweeping three games from the Cubs. That ran the Mets' winning streak to seven before they lost twice to the Cardinals.
Montreal, 1-6, blew early leads in four games; the only time an Expo margin held up was when Mike Torrez beat Cincinnati 2-1. Chicago ended a five-game losing string when Bill Bonham pitched an improbable 10-hit shutout against Philadelphia.
PITT 75-63 ST. L 74-65 PHIL 68-71 NY 63-73 MONT 61-75 CHI 56-80