For New York (5-1) the traded Jackson earned a 3-2, 14-inning win over Chicago in relief and Alexander beat the White Sox 4-3 as the Yankees increased their lead to seven games. Thurman Munson had three RBIs in a 4-2 win over the Twins, and Sparky Lyle gained his ninth, 10th and 11th saves.
Strong pitching by Pat Dobson and Jim Kern enabled Cleveland (4-2) to cling to second place. Dobson (8-5) defeated Chicago 8-5 and, after hurting his ribcage while pitching in his next game, was bailed out by Kern, who wrapped up a 3-0 verdict over Kansas City with two scoreless innings of relief.
Rick Wise of Boston (4-3) blanked Minnesota 5-0 on one hit, an infield roller that Jerry Terrell narrowly beat out in the third inning. Newcomer Rick Jones, a 6'5" lefthander, stopped the Twins 10-2.
Years ago the strategy of the Boston Braves was immortalized in a saying that went: " Spahn and Sain, then two days of rain." Now that the Brewers also rely largely on a two-man staff, Lou Chapman of the Milwaukee Sentinel has composed a new refrain: "Travers and Slaton, then two days of waitin'." Bill Travers befuddled California 9-0 on three hits and Jim Slaton held off Oakland 5-4 during the Brewers' 4-3 week. That gave both pitchers 8-3 records, two-thirds of the team's 24 wins. And Travers had a 1.59 ERA, lowest in the league.
Detroit (2-5) was helped by two rookies. First Baseman Jason Thompson slammed three homers, two of them as Mark Fidrych (5-1) beat the Royals 4-3.
NY 36-22 CLEV 29-29 BALT 29-31 BOS 28-30 DET 26-33 MIL 24-32
In a week containing a two-game confrontation that might have been a prelude to a Philadelphia- Cincinnati divisional playoff, Phillie fans were exuberant, as were their newspapers. MAGIC NUMBER STANDS AT 100, said one. Mike Schmidt's home run total stood at 19 when he hit his third of Philadelphia's 4-3 week, and clearly September could not come soon enough for Jim Kaat (6-2). He pitched one inning in two minutes, another in three as he disposed of the Giants 6-1 in a game requiring but an hour and 47 minutes. There was magnificent baseball in the summit series, the Phillies winning the first game 6-5. In a jewel of a fielding play Phillie Shortstop Larry Bowa raced deep in the hole toward third base, backhanded a smash by Tony Perez, leaped and threw him out. "If we'd been ahead I'd have stood up and clapped," said Pete Rose. Cincinnati took the second game 4-3.
Al Oliver socked his ninth and 10th homers and Jerry Reuss muzzled Houston 2-1, but Pittsburgh (4-0) still trailed Philadelphia by seven games.
After failing to hit higher than .266 in three seasons, Mike Tyson of St. Louis (4-3) planned to become a switch hitter this year. Because spring training was curtailed and because he was injured for almost a month, though, Tyson gave up the idea. Three weeks ago his average was under .209. Then Tyson got going. He has hit .418 so far this month, raised his average to .295 and leads the league in triples with seven. Tyson had three RBIs as the Cardinals outslugged the Reds 12-9 and he scored the only run as John Curtis and Bill Greif held off the Padres 1-0.