Pete Rose of the Reds (2-7) set a career switch-hitting record when he rapped out his 2,881st hit, one more than the late Frankie Frisch, and Johnny Bench joined Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Gabby Hartnett as the only catchers to drive home 1,000 runs. But the Reds were shut out twice and once again suffered from deplorable pitching; Cincinnati hurlers gave up 36 runs and 53 hits in one four-game stretch. A 6-2 win in Chicago ended the Reds' eight-game losing streak, their longest since 1966.
Dave Freisleben's 4-3 win over Montreal was only the second complete game of the year by a San Diego pitcher and the first in 74 games, a big league record to forget. George Hendrick hit three home runs, drove in 11 runs and batted .438. Rookie Third Baseman Tucker Ashford's two-run homer in the ninth gave the Padres (3-5) a 7-5 win over the Expos. But San Diego lost a 5-2, 15-inning game to Montreal. The Padres had 13 hits (six by rookie Gene Richards), eight walks and eight stolen bases, but stranded 18 runners.
Eight Astro doubles in one game, three by rookie Terry Puhl (a Puhl hitter?), tied a club record and led to an 11-3 win over Chicago. Houston (4-4) won three other games from the Cubs, with Joe Niekro leaving his usual bullpen seat to pick up two of them as a starter, 6-4 and 1-0. His first victory came in a doubleheader sweep, the Astros taking the opener 10-6.
On the same day that Joe Niekro won 1-0, brother Phil celebrated Atlanta's return home by downing Pittsburgh 5-3. Phil picked three Pirates off base in that game, and in the sixth inning struck out four batters, one of whom reached base after a third-strike knuckler eluded Catcher Biff Pocoroba. While on the road, the Braves (1-6) lost seven of eight, and their away record is a baseball-worst 11-40. At home the Braves are 25-25.
San Francisco began the week by sweeping a doubleheader from Montreal, 3-0 and 5-4. After that, the Giants lost four of five.
LA 65-38 CIN 50-51 HOU 48-56 SF 47-57 SD 45-61 ATL 36-65
As Kansas City Manager Whitey Herzog boarded the Royals' bus after the team's second straight loss in Chicago, a White Sox fan shouted, "Tomorrow you'll be a believer." Replied Herzog, "I believe tonight." What made Herzog a believer was a rally that carried the Sox from a 3-0 sixth-inning deficit to a 6-4 win and a 5�-game lead over the Royals. The Sox (5-1) made other believers, too, by hitting 11 home runs, batting .336 and coming from behind for all their wins. In Boston they trailed 7-3 after seven, but won 8-7 as Jim Spencer hit a three-run homer in the eighth and Brian Downing cleared Fenway Park's Green Monster in the ninth. Leading the assault were Richie Zisk (.400, nine RBIs), Eric Soderholm (four homers), Jorge Orta (.417) and Ralph Garr (.400).
Reliever Doug Bird hiked his record to 8-1 with a pair of 5-4 wins over Cleveland, K.C.'s only successes in five games. Bird's first victory came when Bob Heise bunted home the tying run in the ninth and scored the winner in the 11th on a single by George Brett, who batted .458 during the week.
Three extra-inning wins buoyed the Twins (6-2). Lyman Bostock homered in the 12th to beat Oakland 10—9; Larry Hisle singled in the 11th to knock off the A's 2-1 as Dave Goltz won his 12th game; and Roy Smalley homered in the 14th to finish off Cleveland 4-3. Mike Cubbage, who had hit only one home run all season, swatted three in three games. And Reliever Tom Johnson yielded just one run in 10? innings while notching his 10th and 11th saves and 11th and 12th wins.