New York (6-3) did even more to keep the first-place chase alive, beating Pittsburgh (3-5) three times. Jerry Koosman, aided by Dave Kingman's two homers, bumped off the Pirates 6-2. Kingman then bunted across a run in a 4-2 Met win. And Jon Matlack beat the Bucs 6-0. Only once did the Pirate bats boom—on Babushka Night in Pittsburgh when the Bucs rapped the Phils 8-1.
Bob Gibson, 39, and Ron Fairly, 37, gave St. Louis (5-3) a lift. Gibson hurled 7? scoreless innings as he got his first relief win since 1964 and his first save since 1965. Fairly batted .500, raising his average to .329.
Chicago (4-4) was bolstered by nine home runs and undermined by Keystone Cops fielding. The most embarrassing misadventure came when the Cubs made two wild throws to let Gary Carter of the Expos circle the bases on a bunt.
Montreal Manager Gene Mauch almost became a basket case. It all began when a drive by Barry Foote of the Expos hit a wire basket above the ivy-covered wall in Chicago for what should have been a three-run homer. Umpire Art Williams declared it a double, Mauch argued in vain and the Expos lost 4-3. A day later, Mike Jorgensen hit the same basket and was credited with a home run, and Montreal won 6-1. The Expos stunned the Phillies 4-3 with a lightning-quick rally in the bottom of the ninth. Tim Foli hit the first pitch for a single, Foote singled on the next delivery and Pinch Hitter Nate Colbert bopped the third pitch of the inning over the center-field fence.
PITT 63-43 PHIL 60-48 NY 56-48
ST. L 54-52 CHI 49-59 MONT 44-59