Detroit's Joe Coleman did his best to disprove one proverb—"Haste makes waste"—and Tom Walker attempted to substantiate another, Samuel Johnson's "Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." Coleman abandoned his lethargic, head-down walks between the mound and dugout in favor of trotting back and forth. He also shucked his slow-motion pitching delivery for a speedier one. A 12-time loser who had dropped seven in a row at his old pace, Coleman won his second straight since hurrying up when he rushed past the White Sox 3-0. Walker changed after being scolded by his wife Carolyn for having "no confidence." "She was completely right," he says. "I decided the next time to walk out there confident but not cocky." Thus emboldened, he polished off Chicago 2-1. Mickey Lolich picked up his 10th victory, John Hiller his 10th and 11th saves and Lerrin LaGrow defeated Milwaukee 11-2 and K.C. 2-0. With that kind of pitching and the hitting of Willie Horton (.484) and Ron LeFlore (.412), the slumbering Tigers (7-1) arose. Six straight wins increased their streak to nine and boosted them for one day into a tie for fifth place.
Cleveland (3-4) won its last two games to regain sole possession of fifth place. Boog Powell upped his home run total to 15 with three blasts, one coming before the majors' largest crowd of the season (59,161) as the Tribe rallied from five runs down to defeat the Red Sox 11-10.
Boston (7-1) pitchers continued to be bombarded and gave up 49 runs. But Sox sluggers more than made up for that as they produced 65 runs and hit .314. Not even a 7-1 deficit against the Twins was too much for them to overcome. They took that game 9-8 with Cecil Cooper hitting a pinch homer in the ninth and Jim Rice driving in the winning run with a double. There were decisive hits in the ninth inning of two other games, Cooper getting one in an 8-7 victory over Texas and Fred Lynn delivering the other to upend Minnesota 6-5. Although he had just 18 at bats, Lynn had nine RBIs to go with his .556 hitting. Rice added 10 RBIs and Bernie Carbo had seven and scored eight times. Bob Heise, filling in at third base while Rico Petrocelli underwent eye tests, hit .370 and drove in seven runs. Bill Lee and Rick Wise both won their 10th games and Luis Tiant his 12th.
Despite some unusual hitting by Al Bumbry and Mark Belanger, Baltimore (3-3) lost ground. Bumbry beat out three bunts in a 7-3 victory at California. Ken Singleton, who is hitting .360 on the road and .228 at home, led off that game with a homer, the first given up by the Angels in 64? innings. Belanger, who had had only seven RBIs all season, drove in two runs in an earlier 8-5 defeat of California, then socked his first home run of the year as Mike Torrez stifled the A's 4-0 with a four-hitter.
Jim Slaton of Milwaukee beat Kansas City 4-3 and Chicago 5-4, each time receiving three innings of scoreless relief from Eduardo Rodriguez. That helped the Brewers (3-4) hold off the Yankees (4-3) and retain second place. Catfish Hunter won his 12th game for New York and Bobby Bonds hit his 20th home run.
BOS 49-37 MIL 46-41 NY 45-41 BALT 41-43 CLEV 39-46 DET 38-47
California (2-4) Manager Dick Williams, concerned that his outfielders were not getting a good jump on fly balls, had TV cameras placed beyond the fences to record their moves. It seemed like a good idea, especially after Mickey Rivers and Dave Collins collided while chasing a fly and let it roll away for a two-run inside-the-park homer that led to a 5-3 loss to Cleveland. Following the game Williams anxiously waited to see the tape so he could figure out what went wrong. Then came the news: the cameraman had missed the play. But another miss turned out just fine. It came when rookie John Balaz did not see a "take" sign, swung away and doubled in two runs. "At least he was eager," Williams said. Williams himself was eager about getting Nolan Ryan back in rotation after a groin pull. But his enthusiasm undoubtedly waned when Ryan, 10-3 in early June, was pounded for 17 runs in 17? innings and lost twice. His record is now 10-9.
Kansas City had better luck with its video system. Dennis Leonard, a rookie righthander, watched himself on tape and "discovered I was keeping my left shoulder up and my right shoulder down. It should be the reverse. I was pitching with my arm instead of my whole body." Pitching as he should, Leonard dispatched the Brewers 9-1. But even with George Brett hitting .414 the Royals lost five of seven.