PHIL 67-32 PITT 56-44 NY 52-52 ST. L 42-56 CHI 43-59 MONT 34-61
One of the season's biggest mysteries is the success that San Francisco (4-2) has enjoyed against Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Last week the Giants won four of five against the division's top two teams and ran their season record against the Reds and Dodgers to 13-6. Against the rest of the league San Francisco is 33-52.
It seems every Giant is at his best when the opponent is Cincy or L.A. Revitalized Darrell Evans hit a home run and two singles in a 9-4 victory over the Reds, and John D'Acquisto followed that with a five-hit shutout. Against the Dodgers, Randy Moffitt saved a 5-3 victory with five innings of scoreless relief, and Bobby Murcer homered in the four-run first inning of a 6-3 triumph. That was all the support John (The Count) Montefusco needed for his 10th victory against nine losses.
Otherwise, Cincinnati (6-2) did well as Fred Norman and Gary Nolan both won twice and Pete Rose led off successive games with homers. Johnny Bench missed three games, but had eight hits in only 19 at bats. Ed Armbrister came off the bench to crack two homers and two singles, score three times and drive in two runs during a 12-1 stomping of the Padres.
Just about everybody was beating San Diego (1-7), which has lost 19 of its last 26 games. Reliable Randy Jones got the week's only win by a 2-1 score over Houston and now has 18 victories.
Beating the Astros is no small feat these days. Houston (5-2) swept its fifth double-header of the year, 2-1 and 9-6 over Atlanta, as Jose Cruz rapped five hits and scored five runs. The two victories gave the Astros their most successful July ever with a 20-11 record.
Atlanta (2-4) helped some other people to reach milestones. The Reds' Nolan picked up his 100th career victory against the Braves, and the Dodgers' Don Sutton got his 2,000th career strikeout and his fourth straight win in a 6-2 decision over Atlanta. Phil Niekro finally turned things around for the Braves, driving in four runs and pitching a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers. Then Andy Messersmith, who "felt stronger and threw better than I have in a long time," defeated Houston 3-2.
Sutton was not the only pitcher for Los Angeles (2-3) to perform superbly. Doug Rau allowed only six hits in shutting out the struggling Padres 1-0.
CIN 66-38 LA 55-46 HOUS 54-52 SD 49-56 ATL 46-56 SF 46-58