MIL 6-3 BOS 5-3 BALT 4-3
DET 4-3 CLEV 2-4 NY 2-7
"I'm a firm believer in the wind," said Amos Otis of the Royals. "They say, 'When the wind blows, Otis will go.' When it's blowing, I try to hit home runs. When it isn't, I just go for base hits." Otis took advantage of the wind when he homered in Texas. With Harmon Killebrew, a .368 hitter for the week, doing likewise, the Royals clipped the Rangers 5-3. Steve Busby got the win, his second 5-3 triumph of the week; his first was over the Twins. In building a 5-1 week and taking over first place, Kansas City won two of three contests from Oakland. George Brett, who batted .409, doubled in the ninth inning to send across the winning run as the Royals beat the A's 4-3. The next day, with Nelson Briles tossing a five-hitter, Kansas City again put down the A's, 6-2.
Oakland, although still aglow with its newfound harmony, lost three of five games. Reggie Jackson was on first base when Joe Rudi blooped a single but got a late start for second and was thrown out. Jackson's tardiness wiped out Rudi's hit and prompted him to say, "I'm sorry for Joe. It was my fault." Rollie Fingers gained his fourth save when he preserved Vida Blue's 4-1 drubbing of the Twins. With the cooperation of more bumbling base running by the A's, the Twins had beaten them earlier 5-4. Oakland managed not to win that one despite a homer, double, single, walk and a Minnesota error in the ninth. A's runners were thrown out at third and home to abort the rally.
The Rangers, too, got their feet tangled on the base paths. In a 5-3 loss to the Royals, two Rangers were caught taking wide turns past first base. One was picked off first and another was out trying to stretch a dinky single into a double. During a three-game blitz of the White Sox the Texans accumulated 27 runs and 40 hits, and in one game they stole five bases. Jim Umbarger, who a year ago was pitching for Arizona State, did not yield an earned run in 10? innings.
Chicago started off by taking a double-header from California, 7-5 in 12 innings, and 5-4. From there on it was all downhill and the Sox could not find the brakes. Suffering the most in the plunge to the cellar was Wilbur Wood, who gave up 13 runs in 11 innings. His record is now 0-4.
California, 2-3, displayed its considerable speed, primarily the swiftness of Nolan Ryan's fastball and the fleetness of its runners' feet. Ryan won his third game without a loss, beating Minnesota 7-3 despite walking nine batters. Speed on the bases produced the winning run for the Angels when Bruce Bochte stole third and scored on a throwing error. In a 6-5 conquest of the White Sox the clinching run was scored by Lee Stanton, who stole second, continued to third on a throwing error on that play, and came in on a passed ball. In all, the Angels stole five bases in that game and 13 during the week. Said Manager Dick Williams, "This is the best running team I've ever seen."
KC 8-2 OAK 6-4 CAL 5-4
MINN 4-6 TEX 4-6 CHI 3-8