Two homers by Manager-DH Frank Robinson enabled Cleveland to down California 3-2, but the Indian pitching staff was a shambles. Jim Perry and Dick Bosman were traded to the A's for Blue Moon Odom, who brought along an 0-2 record and a 12.27 ERA. And Gaylord Perry was tagged for his 11th and 12th homers in 88? innings as the A's zonked him 3-0.
Milwaukee and Baltimore both lost four of five. The Brewers were shut out twice and did not hit a homer. Jim Palmer of the Orioles equaled last year's victory total by stopping the White Sox 6-2 for No. 7, but in their other outings the Birds hit just .151. Manager Earl Weaver explained why he benched Brooks Robinson on his 38th birthday: "That's my present to him. He doesn't have to face Nolan Ryan." It was just as well, for Ryan picked up his eighth win by subduing the Orioles 5-1 on two hits.
MIL 20-16 BOS 19-16 DET 16-18 BALT 16-21 NY 16-21 CLEV 14-21
Two weeks after frittering away a four-run lead in Montreal and quitting his club temporarily, Dave Roberts of Houston faced the Expos again. Dave Bristol, the Montreal third-base coach, heckled Roberts throughout the game. "He kept asking if I was going to quit again if I lost," Roberts said. But Roberts hung tough, tossed a six-hitter and won 4-2 to climax a 5-0 week for the Astros. Cesar Cedeno manufactured two runs with his speed in a 4-2 victory over the Phillies, scoring the winner in the eighth when he raced all the way home from first base on a single.
San Francisco, also 5-0, climbed above .500 and rose from fifth place to third. Jim Barr won twice: 2-0 over the Cardinals on a two-hitter and 2-1 over the Pirates in relief when Chris Speier singled with the bases full in the 11th inning.
San Diego continued to get superb pitching, the Padres winning four of six and lowering their staff ERA to 2.77, best in the majors. Joe McIntosh blanked St. Louis 1-0 to bring his ERA down to 1.41, the finest in either league for pitchers with 50 or more innings. And Randy Jones notched his third shutout, a one-hit, 10-inning 1-0 decision, also over the Cardinals, that left him with a 1.80 ERA. John Grubb settled that game with a home run and hit .500 for the week. Amid the prosperity was some rumbling, however. Gene Locklear sounded off after being benched despite his .441 average. Ordered to the minors, he refused to go and filed a grievance against the team.
Coach Tommy Lasorda took over as interim manager of the Dodgers because of the death of Walter Alston's father. When Lasorda managed in the Dominican Republic last winter one of his pitchers was Burt Hooton. "I told him he was too heavy at 230 and he got down to 195," Lasorda recalled. Trimmed down and now a Dodger, Hooton earned an 8-3 win over his former Cub teammates, striking out 11. Niftier yet was Andy Messersmith, who beat the Cubbies 10-0 to make his record 7-0.
Gary Nolan won twice for the Reds, who got six runs batted in from Tony Perez as they won three of four games. Atlanta's Vic Correll doubled his 1974 homer output by bopping his eighth of the season, a grand slam that finished off Montreal 9-4. Correll seemed more embarrassed than elated. "I am not a home-run hitter," said he. Dusty Baker also hit his eighth homer and Darrell Evans his seventh and eighth as the Braves split four games.
LA 27-16 CIN 22-20 SF 20-19 SD 21-20 ATL 20-22 HOUS 17-27