All things come to him who waits, and heaven knows Al Fitzmorris, Marty Pattin and Lindy McDaniel of the Royals had waited. Fitzmorris, who had a career ERA of 10.80 against the Yankees and had not started against them since 1970, got a measure of revenge with a 3-0 three-hitter. Pattin, winless heretofore and all but forgotten in the bullpen, gained his second victory in three days by holding the Yankees to one hit in three innings. McDaniel, pitching for the first time in a month—before that he had been shelved with a prostate infection—put in 5? innings of one-hit relief as the Royals overcame the Brewers 7-5.
In his first starts since being traded from Cleveland to Oakland, Dick Bosman made the Indians wince as he beat them 6-3 and 6-2. Also contributing importantly to Oakland's 5-2 week were Vida Blue, who downed Baltimore 5-0 for his ninth win, and Gene Tenace, who drove in five runs as the A's trimmed the Orioles 6-5.
Minnesota rookie Jim Hughes, who uses a palm ball "not quite 50% of the time," held off Detroit 5-2. That left him with a 6-1 record and a 1.53 ERA, the lowest among league starters. Supplying much of the offense for the Twins was Rod Carew, whose .500 week brought his average to .367, the highest in baseball.
Chicago's Stan Bahnsen, who a month ago seemed washed up, won his third in a row, 9-3 over the Brewers. But Terry Forster, the league's foremost reliever last season, was placed on the disabled list with an aching elbow.
Willie Davis of the Rangers went on a sit-down strike in center field when teammate Steve Hargan refused to retaliate by throwing at Red Sox batters after Willie had been brushed back with a pitch by Rick Wise. Fortunately for the Rangers and Davis, no balls were hit to center during his fit of pique. Throughout the rest of the week, however, opponents slashed balls all over the field against the Rangers, who lost five of six. Seven times this year Texas has drawn 20,000 or more and each time the Rangers have lost. Last week, before their second-largest crowd ever—38,714—they were shellacked by the Yankees 6-0.
The Angels played as badly as their 1-5 record indicates. Mickey Rivers ran through Coach Whitey Herzog's stop sign at third and was easily thrown out at home. Ed Figueroa twice went into full windups with Orioles on base, allowing three of them to steal. On one steal the Angels just plain forgot to cover second base.
OAK 28-18 KC 27-20 MINN 23-19 TEX 23-23 CAL 22-25 CHI 20-24
Although the Red Sox were plagued by the flu and bugged by Umpire Lou Di Muro, they frolicked to the top of the division by taking three of five games. Carl Yastrzemski drew some laughs when, after being called out on strikes, he scooped dirt atop home plate. One person who did not think this was funny was Di Muro, who gave the thumb to Yaz, one of three Sox he banished that day. California Manager Dick Williams responded to Boston Pitcher Bill Lee's suggestion that the weak-hitting Angels take batting practice in their hotel lobby, but Williams' attempt to have his players swing miniature bats at whiffle balls was thwarted by hotel officials. Lee missed achieving his third shutout in a row when his throwing error let in a run, but he did beat Texas 4-1. A touch of the flu did not deter Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, who combined to produce 18 runs.