"Take that and that and that, Charlie Finley. I'm haunting him now. Finley never gave me a chance." Doing the speaking—and the haunting—was Glenn Abbott of Seattle (3-1), who used to pitch for Finley's A's. Abbott beat Oakland for the third time this season 4-3 to lift the Mariners out of the cellar and past the A's. (Since May 11, Seattle has been 34-31.) Also plaguing his former team was Dave Collins, whose two-run homer brought an 8-7 win over California (page 16). Seldom-used Larry Cox gave the Mariners a lift, too. Cox, primarily a bullpen catcher, had seven hits in 17 at bats for the week.
Getting the utmost from their Stone and Wood pitching combination, the White Sox (3-0) built their lead to three games. Steve Stone (10-7) stopped Boston 3-2 with the aid of Jim Spencer's 14th homer, and Wilbur Wood won his fourth game in a row, beating Toronto 10-3 as Lamar Johnson drove in five runs. Nifty relief work in both games earned Lerrin LaGrow his 16th and 17th saves.
John Mayberry and Al Cowens of second-place Kansas City (3-1) slugged their 15th homers as Paul Splittorff beat Detroit 8-1. After the Tigers rallied for two runs in the 10th inning the next day, Cowens settled matters 5-4 in the 12th with another homer.
Superb pitching enabled Texas (2-1) to take a pair of games in Baltimore. Bert Blyleven struck out 14 Orioles and yielded four hits as he won the first one 5-1. Baltimore's Pat Kelly, who fanned three times, said of Blyleven: "His pitches bit like Jaws and had the same effect—fatal." Gaylord Perry struck out nine Orioles and gave up four hits in nine innings the next day before removing himself from a scoreless duel with Jim Palmer. Two innings later Palmer departed, having struck out nine batters. The game's only run was scored in the 13th inning when rookie Bump Wills doubled and came in on Mike Hargrove's single.
Although Rod Carew's average slipped to .386, Larry Hisle and Lyman Bostock kept Minnesota (4-1) going. Hisle walloped his 21st and 22nd homers. Bostock, who apologized publicly for critical remarks he had made about Minnesota fans, started a home stand by driving in two runs as Dave Goltz held off California 3-2. In the next two games, Bostock further ingratiated himself to Twins' rooters by slamming home runs.
Answering accusations that he ducked out of the All-Star Game, Vida Blue of Oakland (1-4) said, "I was on medication four days. My arm was inflamed." Against Seattle, Blue went 8? innings and earned his ninth win, 5-3. Despite the 10-for-17 hitting of Mitchell Page, the A's bottomed out.
CHI 56-36 KC 53-39 MINN 52-43 TEX 48-44 CAL 43-48 SEA 43-55 OAK 40-53