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THE WEEK (July 11-17)
Jim Kaplan
July 26, 1976
AL EAST
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July 26, 1976

The Week (july 11-17)

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PHIL 57-27 PITT 48-36 NY 47-44 ST.L 39-46 CHI 36-51 MONT 26-54

NL WEST

When unbeaten Rick Rhoden gave up four runs in the first inning, Los Angeles (4-0) Manager Walter Alston put off plans to celebrate his 2,000th career victory. Then Rhoden took charge, shutting out Chicago the rest of the way, singling home the tying and go-ahead runs and picking up his ninth victory. With a 2,000-1,584 record over 23 seasons, Alston now is the sixth-ranked manager in wins and eighth-ranked in winning percentage (.557). "I'd trade about 1,000 of those victories for 60 more this year," he said. "That would give us about 110, and that would be enough."

The Dodgers were not doing badly, though, having crept to within five games of idling (2-2) Cincinnati in baseball's only bona fide division race. One reason was Pitcher Don Sutton, who beat the Cubs 4-1 for his 10th victory of the year to move into a fourth-place tie with Sandy Koufax for career wins (165) as a Dodger.

Houston moved into third by taking three of four games. Rookie Joaquin Andujar earned his fourth shutout, beating New York's Tom Seaver 1-0 on a Cesar Cedeno home run. Earlier Bob Watson's three-run shot had bested Jon Matlack 4-3. " Seaver, Matlack and the other Mets have good control," said Watson. "That's the kind of pitcher I prefer to bat against."

San Diego (0-4) could not hit anyone; the Padres had scored 15 runs in the last 11 games and lost 18 of their last 25. Suffering a rare loss was Randy Jones, who had thrown just three innings (in the All-Star Game) over an eight-day stretch. "I just couldn't get into the groove today," he said after losing 4-2 to the Cardinals.

Ed Halicki of San Francisco (3-1) had similar problems, but much different results. Halicki shut out Chicago 2-0 on two hits and Philadelphia 1-0 on six, then explained, "When I was warming up for those games, I didn't feel my control was sharp. But once I got on the mound my slider, my sinking fastball and my control were great. On days when I've felt good before a game, I've gotten belted early."

After settling his contractual difficulties with Atlanta (2-2) Owner Ted Turner, Willie Montanez had six RBIs in one game and hit .412 for the week.

CIN 55-34 LA 50-39 HOUS 44-45 SD 43-47 ATL 41-47 SF 37-53

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