Finally getting the range, Billy Williams slammed three homers and Vida Blue brought his record to 8-1 with two wins over New York as Oakland won five in a row.
Shortstop Toby Harrah drove in eight runs and batted .429 for Texas, which split six games. Bill Hands stopped Detroit 10-3 for his fourth straight win. Al one point in that game his mound opponent was Ray Bare, which made the matchup Bare-Hands. The Rangers lost a suspended game to the Brewers 3-2 when Jackie Brown gave up the final run by walking two men, making an error and hitting a batter in the 15th inning.
In the first game of a doubleheader at Baltimore, Bobby Grich hit a home run off the left-field foul pole with two out in the ninth to nip California 1-0. The Angels won the nightcap 3-2 as Tommy Harper crashed two homers, one of which also hit the foul pole. After beating the Yankees, the Angels' Nolan Ryan insisted he was "struggling out there." You should struggle so well. Ryan held them to two hits and beat them 5-0.
Another who made it look easy was the Twins' Rod Carew, who stole second base, went to third on an error and stole home as Pitcher Jim Hughes beat the Indians 3-0. Carew also drove in the winning runs in a 7-6 victory over the Indians and an 8-7 defeat of he Brewers. Larry Hisle's seven RBIs put him atop the league in that department, with 25, as Minnesota forged a 4-3 week.
Chicago, 2-3, was the only club in the division with a losing record, Western teams going 23-13 against the East.
OAK 21-12 TEX 19-15 KC 20-16 CAL 18-18 MINN 15-15 CHI 14-19
Four errors and a 7-3 loss to the Braves in the week's first game sent Phillie Manager Danny Ozark into a rage, during which he tongue-lashed his players for 15 minutes. Facing the press later, Ozark had more to say about his team's slovenly play: "It was a disgrace. It's beyond my apprehension." A few days later, however, Ozark was smiling and Reliever Tug McGraw was exulting, "It's an awesome club." The transformation was brought about by strong pitching, a few clutch hits and the second coming of Dick Allen. The result: six straight wins as the Phillies climbed to second place. Tom Underwood and Steve Carlton both pitched 4-0 wins over the Reds, and the Phils also swept a doubleheader from Cincy with late rallies. Ollie Brown dramatically ended the opener with a three-run pinch homer with two out in the last of the ninth. Then the Phillies out-slugged the Braves 12-8 and 9-8, taking the second game with a three-run ninth climaxed by Dave Cash's RBI single. Reliever Gene Garber tied a major league mark by winning three games in a row. And Philadelphia fans set a record of their own by not booing Allen once on his first day back. In fact, they gave him three standing ovations, the last coming after Allen, in his first at bat since September, stroked a single. Also cheered were Cash, who hit .387 and had four RBIs, and Larry Bowa, who batted .467. It was enough to fill opponents with real apprehension.
In a week of interdivisional play the East held the upper hand 22-13. New York won five in a row as Rusty Staub hit .476 and had eight RBIs. In St. Louis, Red Schoendienst, the Cardinal skipper, said, "The troops have to inspire themselves." Responding, Lou Brock went on a tear in which he batted .423, scored 10 runs and stole six bases, giving him 12 for the year. Most inspiring of all was a 23-hit, 17-2 win over the Giants.
The first 22 Pirates to face Don Sutton of the Dodgers were set down in order. Then the Bucs broke up Sutton's perfect-game attempt with three eighth-inning hits and went on to win 3-2 when Al Oliver bopped a two-run homer in the ninth. The Pirates' other wins in a 3-2 week came against the Padres—2-0 on a three-hitter by Jerry Reuss and 5-4.