- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Slumping Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati (3-3) showered before a game in New York to "wash away the bad luck." That day he ended an 0 for 15 drought with a liner that fell for a triple. In Chicago, Concepcion climbed into a huge clubhouse clothes dryer to warm up. Teammate Pat Zachry playfully shut the door on him and pretended to turn the machine on. One thing went wrong: the dryer went on, and Concepcion got a few scary tumbles before escaping with singed hairs on his legs. Warmed up, he got three hits against the Cubs in a 14-4 triumph.
It was revealed that Atlanta Owner Ted Turner had met with his team before the season and laid out an incentive program. For every win over 81, he promised each Brave $500, and for every 100,000 fans over the break-even point of 900,000, he proposed a 5% bonus on all salaries. The idea may be against baseball's rules, but if the Braves continue their losing ways, the question of legality may be moot. Turner tried to change his team's luck by kissing third base, doing a somersault and winding up in a mock collapse. His Braves did a real collapse, losing six times for a club-record 12 in a row.
James Rodney Richard of Houston (2-4) attributed his 5-1 record to hard work. "I'm running two miles in under 10 minutes at times," he said. Richard's increased stamina paid off as he stopped the Mets 5-4 and the Cardinals 3-1.
Three-run homers by Doug Rader provided the winning runs as the Padres (3-2) beat the Pirates 4-2 and the Expos 6-4.
LA 15-10 CIN 14-10 HOUS 13-14 SD 12-13 SF 8-16 ATL 8-17
The Yankees enjoyed a California vacation as they won five of six in the Golden State. Catfish Hunter beat the Angels 10-4, Sparky Lyle saved two games and Chris Chambliss hit .429. And the new-look Bronx Blazers stole 15 more bases, Willie Randolph swiping five and Mickey Rivers four.
Henry Aaron clouted his first home run of the season—the 746th of his career—but could not keep Milwaukee (1-2) from falling 2� games behind New York. Eduardo Rodriguez earned his fifth save in the Brewers' lone win, a 4-3 defeat of the Twins.
Sharp pitching brought Detroit (2-2) a pair of wins over Chicago. Ray Bare beat the White Sox 5-0 with a one-hitter, and Vern Ruhle combined with Bill Laxton to limit the Sox to six hits in a 7-1 decision.