"They always figure out some way to win," said Minnesota Manager Frank Quilici, musing on the A's. In all, Oakland figured out ways to win seven games without a loss. One thing that kept the A's rolling was their ability to get maximum results from their hits, an art they demonstrated by manufacturing 18 runs on 21 hits while handing the Twins three defeats. It also helped that Bert Campaneris hit .400 and scored eight times, that Claudell Washington stole six bases and that Reggie Jackson took the league lead in homers by hitting Nos. 16, 17 and 18. Reliever Paul Lindblad, who was 4-4 last year, stretched his scoreless string to 22? innings with 8? more and brought his record to 6-0. And Dick Bosman, winless when obtained from Cleveland in late May, pitched his fourth and fifth victories.
Several other pitchers in the West who seemed headed for the scrap heap not long ago also turned in fine performances. Chicago had two such comebackers: lefthanders Claude Osteen, 35, and Jim Kaat, 36. Osteen, who had won just once this season, beat Texas 7-5 and Kansas City 5-3. Kaat won a 5-2 verdict over Texas, which left him with the best mark among the league's left-handed starters: 11 wins, 4 losses and a 2.89 ERA. Even the White Sox hitters seemed revived, notably Jorge Orta (a .500 average for the week, five doubles, seven RBIs), Carlos May (.379) and Bill Melton (seven RBIs). All that rejuvenation paid off with seven straight victories, which pulled the Sox out of the cellar for the first time in two months.
Falling into the basement were the Angels, who started the week by squeaking past the Rangers 1-0 on Ed Figueroa's two-hitter. From there on, though, it was all misery: injuries, 14 errors and six defeats. One of three straight extra-inning losses was incurred despite the masterful work of Bill Singer, who gave up only one hit in 11 innings before being yanked. Opposing Singer that night was another old hand, Texas' Steve Hargan, who was lifted in the 12th. ( Cesar Tovar's single in the 13th made the Rangers 1-0 winners.) Four days later Hargan kept posting zeros as he downed the Twins 2-0. Feeling zeroed in on was Gaylord Perry, who lost his 11th and 12th games.
Frank White of Kansas City (3-4) settled a 12-inning tussle with California with a grand slam. Steve Busby earned the win, his 11th, after wriggling out of a one-out, bases-full jam in the 11th inning by striking out the next two batters.
Minnesota dropped six in a row before taking two games from Texas with late rallies. Rookie Dan Ford came through with vital hits in both wins, one of which went to Jim Hughes, who had lost five in a row.
OAK 47-26 KC 41-33 TEX 35-39 MINN 33-37 CHI 33-38 CAL 34-42
While the Red Sox and Yankees squabbled over first place (page 16), the Indians were happy to climb to fifth. They accomplished it with a six-game winning streak, their longest in three years. Cleveland began its upward surge when Rico Carty was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th, forcing in the clinching run in a 3-2 decision over Milwaukee. Thereafter, the Indians were more hitters than hittees as they slammed six homers while jolting Boston 11-3, 8-6 and 8-5.
Milwaukee (5-3) took three games from Detroit: 5-0 as Jim Slaton tossed a three-hitter and then 4-2 and 7-6 as George Scott bopped three home runs. Don Money, who holds records for the best fielding percentage by third basemen in both leagues, made two errors in one inning. That gave him five for the year, which was all he had for the entire 1974 season. It was unlikely that Money had suddenly become fumble-fingered, however; his troubles were probably traceable to a month layoff following surgery for a hernia.