Cleveland (3-4) lost three one-run games, but salvaged two narrow wins over Oakland. George Hendrick, who batted .448, did in the A's by a 5-4 score with a towering 10th-inning homer, and Alan Ashby sealed a 3-1 win with a two-run single in the ninth.
Wayne Garland of Baltimore (3-3) tossed 10 innings of scoreless relief and in a single week equaled his win total for all of last season with 4-3 verdicts over Oakland and Kansas City. Before batting with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth of the latter game, Al Bumbry was urged by Manager Earl Weaver to "move up about four inches in the box and, if you get ahead of the pitcher, go for the home run." Four inches and one pitch later, Bumbry deposited the ball in the right-field seats. The Orioles did not give away the shirts off their backs, but before the largest regular-season crowd in their history—51,195 on Jersey Night—they did hand the Royals a 6-3 victory. That left the Birds in fifth place. Bobby Grich was out with tonsilitis, and Reggie Jackson, who had gone 2 for 13 after ending a four-week holdout, was sidelined with a sore wrist. "We could be in worse shape," said Weaver. "We could be the Boston Red Sox."
Ah, yes, the Red Sox (0-5). They became cellar dwellers as their losing streak reached eight games. Said Pitcher Rick Wise, "It's the snowball effect, the domino theory." The Sox might have been better off throwing snowballs or playing dominoes, for their collapse was complete. The batters hit .232, the fielders made five errors and the starting pitchers were bludgeoned for 42 hits and 28 runs in 23? innings. Through it all, the Sox were able to gaze at mementos of the days when they did things right—their newly received World Series rings.
NY 15-5 MIL 10-6 DET 10-8 CLEV 10-11 BALT 9-12 BOS 6-13
It's nice to have a few friends drop by—at least Bobby Bonds of the Angels (3-4) and Craig Kusick of the Twins think so. Cleveland, which had won at California 13 straight times to tie a league mark for most consecutive victories against one team on the road, led the Angels 4-1 in the eighth. Then up stepped Bonds, with 500 fans from his hometown of Riverside, Calif. looking on. He slammed a three-run homer, and on the next pitch, Bill Melton homered and the Angels won 5-4.
When Minnesota (3-1) played at Milwaukee, Kusick wangled tickets from his teammates for a delegation of 29 from his hometown of Mayville, Wise. He gave his fans a lot to cheer about as he homered, singled and had four RBIs in a 13-2 win.
Home runs also bolstered Kansas City (4-1) as it climbed to second place behind rampaging Texas (page 18). Amos Otis, who hit .421 during the week, socked his first two homers of the season to beat Boston 7-5. John Mayberry also connected for his first home run and had five RBIs as the Royals bopped the Orioles 6-3.
Troubles mounted for the A's (2-5). Reliever Rollie Fingers' fastball continued to be creamed and his ERA soared to 5.00. And the usually reliable Oakland defense made six errors—plus at least as many mental slips—in a 14-4 loss to the Yankees.
Chicago Owner Bill Veeck wasn't singing in the rain, Bad weather has already cost him an estimated 175,000 fans and $750,000. On top of that, his White Sox (1-3) were shut out twice and had just one extra-base hit.