Excellent relief pitching was the primary reason why the East was 22-2 against the West. Skip Lockwood helped keep New York (5-2) in first with three superb appearances, and Dave Kingman supplied 10 RBIs and hit his 10th, 11th and 12th homers.
The Cardinals (4-2) ended a 13-game road trip during which their bullpen figured in all seven wins. By yielding just one run in 15 innings last week, the relief staff of Mike Wallace, Al Hrabosky, Danny Frisella, Harry Rasmussen and Mike Proly finished the trip with a 1.15 ERA.
For Philadelphia (4-1) the bullpen ace was Gene Garber, who gave up just two hits in nine innings as he registered a win and two saves. Bobby Tolan (.412, three homers, nine RBIs) was an able replacement for injured Dick Allen.
Bob Moose Larry Demery and Dave Giusti preserved three wins for Pittsburgh (5-1). The Pirates also got strong starting pitching as Bruce Kison beat the Giants 6-1 and John Candelaria topped the Braves 3-1.
Dale Murray of the Expos (2-2) came out of the bullpen to hurl seven scoreless innings, cut his ERA to 1.42 and increase his consecutive innings without a homer to 179.
Dependable relievers? The Cubs (2-4) wished they had some. Even one. Chicago pitchers were rapped for 50 runs. Jose Cardenal, who hit .500, won a 6-5 struggle against the Giants with his sixth hit of the game, a single in the 14th.
NY 18-9 PHIL 13-7 PITT 14-9 ST.L 12-13 CHI 11-15 MONT 8-14
While other teams tried to change their luck by resorting to such things as a good-luck shower, a kiss, a somersault and a team meeting, the Dodgers continued to roll along. Doug Rau moved Los Angeles (4-0) into first place by defeating St. Louis 3-1, then Mike Marshall notched his fourth, fifth and sixth saves as the Dodgers hammered the Cubs 9-6 and 14-12 (hitting seven homers) and the Phillies 10-8 to run their victory streak to 12. Los Angeles hit a resounding .328, with Steve Yeager and Bill Russell batting .500 and Ron Cey driving in nine runs.