- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
It's getting so you can't tell the Johnsons apart without a scorecard. Lamar, Bart, Tom, Dave and Darrell—Johnsons all—had their ups and downs last week. Lamar, who was definitely down six weeks ago, made his patience and power pay off for Chicago (4-2). "Early in the season I was getting flustered," Lamar admitted. "I wasn't getting enough times at bat." So Lamar called his mother in Bessemer, Ala. "I'm sure glad I talked with her," he said. "Mom told me to be patient." After Jim Spencer broke a toe early in June, Lamar was installed at first base and since then has hit .337—bringing his average up to .329. Lamar had four RBIs as the White Sox dumped the Mariners 10-4, a victory that was saved by Bart. In another 10-4 drubbing of Seattle the next day, Lamar slugged his second homer of the week and ninth of the season. Spencer then returned to first base, and in a 13-8 win over Minnesota hit two home runs and had eight RBIs. A pair of Johnsons relieved for the Twins, Tom taking the loss and Dave facing four men and giving up three runs. Lamar? He returned as the Sox DH and added his 10th RBI of the week in that contest. Chicago also beat Minnesota 5-2 behind the pitching of Chris Knapp (7-4) and the slugging of Richie Zisk, who drove in all the Sox' runs with his 18th and 19th homers. Those two wins, witnessed by more than 70,000 fans in Chicago, lifted the White Sox back into the division lead.
That was the linescore as the Twins (3-3) started off the week by bumping the Sox out of first place. Tom was the winner. On hand were 49,963 fans, a record for a regular-season contest in Minnesota. They saw Rod Carew get four hits and drive in six runs and get upstaged by Glenn Adams, who had four hits and eight RBIs. The White Sox have won four of seven games this season from the Twins, have a 58-48 edge in runs and a 16-7 lead in homers. They are tied in Johnsons, 2-2. In their second game of the week, the Twins romped past the Brewers 10-3 as Dave Goltz won for the eighth time. Although Minnesota produced 29 runs in those two games, Larry Hisle did not pad his league-leading RBI total until Saturday, when he drove across two runs to give him 73. As for Adams, he batted .550 and drove in two more runs as Paul Thormodsgard stopped Milwaukee 8-3. Finishing with a flourish, Carew wound up hitting .486 during June.
More than a little upset with his team's two losses to the White Sox was Darrell Johnson, the skipper of the Mariners (2-4). What annoyed him most was that during those two games his pitchers walked 14 batters. So Darrell took Tom House out of the bullpen and gave him his second start in six seasons. Darrell savored that 3-1 win in Chicago largely because House did not issue a walk in seven innings before giving way to Enrique Romo, who pitched the last two innings for his fifth save. Pleasing, too, was a 2-1 defeat of Milwaukee in which Glen Abbott and Mike Kekich yielded only six hits and two walks. THIS CLUB NOT FOR SALE read a banner that night. Seattle, which lost its original major league franchise after just one season (1969) because it drew only 677,944 fans, has already drawn 703,355 this year.
Joe Zdeb of Kansas City (5-2) had five hits and four RBIs as the Royals disposed of the Indians 12-2. Paul Splittorff started for the Royals in that game, gave up three hits and a walk to the four men he faced and was replaced by Marty Pattin, who hurled nine innings of three-hit relief. Andy Hassler and Dennis Leonard also pitched admirably. Hassler beat Cleveland 1-0 on a one-hitter ( Duane Kuiper singled in the sixth) and Leonard stopped the Angels 3-1. Much of the offense was supplied by Pete LaCock, who hit .588.
Despite being outhit 15-9 by the Royals, the A's were 7-3 winners. Tight pitching and timely hitting carried Oakland (5-3) to four other triumphs. Vida Blue blanked the Angels 2-0 for his 12th straight win in Anaheim. At home against the Angels he is 3-9. Rookie Rick Langford (6-6) held off Texas 4-1. The A's also beat the Rangers 6-5, scoring twice in the last of the ninth on hits by Wayne Gross and Willie Crawford. Reliever Adrian Devine had apparently ended the inning by picking a runner off base after Gross' single, but he had forgotten to step off the rubber, was called for a balk and then gave up Crawford's single.
In Texas the managers tried to keep up with the Johnsons. Eddie Stanky, who replaced Frank Luchessi, had succumbed to instant homesickness and one day later was replaced by Coach Connie Ryan. After four days at the helm, Ryan decided to pass up a chance to finish the season as manager, so Billy Hunter left his Orioles coaching job to become the fourth Ranger boss in eight days. No one was more confused by it all than Dock Ellis, who has played for seven managers this season. Ellis started under Billy Martin in New York, was traded to Oakland, where he pitched for Jack McKeon and Bobby Winkles, and then was dealt to Texas just in time for the farcical managerial shuffling there. Mike Marshall, the longtime reliever who has been converted to a starter by the Rangers (3-5), teamed up with Paul Lindblad to cool off the A's 5-2. Then came word that Marshall had strained a knee ligament and was being put on the disabled list. Unfazed by all the troubles was Gaylord Perry, who beat Oakland 4-0. During his last 25? innings, Perry (7-6) has given up only 17 hits and two runs, and has struck out 21.
"We're dropping like flies," said California General Manager Harry Dalton. The fallen: Joe Rudi (on the disabled list with a fractured finger), Don Baylor (pulled hamstring), Rance Mulliniks (bruised thigh), Bobby Grich (back trouble that will require surgery and may keep him out for the rest of the season), Gary Nolan (sore shoulder), Dave Chalk, Gil Flores, Mario Guerrero and Gary Ross (assorted minor ailments). Into the breach—chasm?—stepped Centerfielder Thad Bosley. He was rushed up from the minors, arrived just 25 minutes before a game against the Royals and tripled, singled and drove in three runs in a 7-0 win. Three years earlier, when Kansas City Manager Whitey Herzog was a California coach, he called Bosley "the best raw young talent I've ever seen." Nolan Ryan (10-7) won that game, giving up five hits and striking out 12 as he hurled his 13th complete game in 19 starts. Beating Kansas City was nothing new for Ryan, who went into the game with a 16-6 record and 1.84 ERA against the Royals.
CHI 42-32 MINN 42-34 KC 40-35 CAL 36-37 TEX 36-38 OAK 34-41 SEA 35-46