Every team in the West experienced some sort of a revival. Last-place Minnesota (4-4) even won its first doubleheader since September 1973, surprising Chicago 4-1 and 8-3. Wilbur Wood of the White Sox (3-5), who had a dismal start, gained his fourth and fifth victories in a row to improve his record to 11-13. Texas had three resuscitated pitchers. Gaylord Perry, the majors' biggest loser with 15 setbacks, beat the Angels 2-1 on two hits and has yielded only one earned run in his last four games. Steve Hargan, winless for almost a month, muffled the A's 6-1. And after more than two months without a victory, Bill Hands stopped the Angels 8-2. Nolan Ryan of California (2-4) earned only his second win in his last 10 decisions, squeezing past Chicago 5-4. Making a winner out of Ryan was John Doherty, a .194 batter who hit a two-run pinch single in the ninth.
Kansas City (4-3) got two wins from Steve Busby (14-8) and ran its record to 7-3 under new Manager Whitey Herzog. But visions of catching Oakland (5-2) were crumbled by Billy Williams and Reggie Jackson. Williams homered and drove in the deciding run with an eighth-inning single as the A's put down K.C. 6-5. Jackson, who started slowly this year, also hit a homer in that game, his fourth of the week and 27th of the season.
OAK 67-39 KC 57-49 CHI 51-54
TEX 50-57 MINN 47-61 CAL 47-61
Bill Virdon began the week seeking a way "to turn things around"' after New York had lost three six-hit shutouts in a row. By week's end both the Yankees and Virdon had been turned around. For the Yanks it was a pleasant about-face as they won three straight. But that mini-streak did not help Virdon, who was turned out of his job. Billy Martin replaced him as manager and directed the Yankees to a 5-3 victory over the Indians in his first game. One of the runs was the result of a Roy White homer, New York's first in 13 games.
Boston (7-2) got a pair of wins from both Bill Lee and Roger Moret, who combined to sweep doubleheaders from New York (1-0 and 6-0) and Detroit (3-2 and 6-1), and two more from reliever Jim Willoughby. Jim Rice had two game-winning hits, one a bunt that defeated the Tigers 8-7, while Carlton Fisk's five-RBI night squelched the Brewers 7-6. Denny Doyle extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
Milwaukee was the only team to slow down Boston, Jim Colborn stopping the Sox 4-0 and Jim Slaton winning 6-2. Gorman Thomas went on a near-record strikeout binge, fanning in 10 consecutive official at bats, one short of the mark for nonpitchers. After ending his streak by grounding into a double play, Thomas took his post in center field and got a standing ovation from Boston fans. "I think they were sharing my success. They became attached to me," he said.
Thomas' DP ball was only the beginning of double trouble for the Brewers (2-6). They lost their fourth and fifth twin bills of the year, both to the Orioles (6-2). Tommy Davis, who had had only two homers all season, blasted Milwaukee with a pair of grand slams. His first came in the 10th inning of an 11-6 slugfest in which the Birds, down 6-0 in the ninth, tied the score on a three-run homer by Al Bumbry. Davis' other poke knocked off the Brewers 6-4.
Cleveland (3-4) downed Baltimore twice. Charlie Spikes settled a 7-5 contest with two RBIs in the 10th inning, and Johnny Ellis, released from Manager Frank Robinson's doghouse, slammed a two-run homer for a 3-1 Indian triumph.