Bert Blyleven and Gaylord Perry tossed back-to-back shutouts for Texas (5-1), beating Toronto 14-0 and 3-0, respectively. Jim Sundberg's homer in the bottom of the 12th overhauled the Tigers 6-5.
Don Baylor of California (4-4) seems to have emerged from his season-long hitting slump, thanks to tips from former Cleveland Manager Frank Robinson, now the Angels' batting coach. "I moved him closer to the plate, forward in the box, had him spread his legs a bit, lowered his hands and tried to get him to keep his weight back," says Robinson. Remembering all that, Baylor hit .333 in 14 games, and last week had four homers and 13 RBIs. Two of Baylor's home runs helped Nolan Ryan beat Seattle 7-2.
Mitchell Page of Oakland (2-6) stole his 25th base in a row, tying Baylor's league record. But the A's continued to struggle, although Vida Blue beat California's Frank Tanana 2-1 when Larry Murray missed a squeeze-bunt sign and hit a two-run triple.
John Montague of Seattle (2-6) equaled Steve Busby's league record by retiring 33 consecutive batters in two games during the past two weeks. A walk to Minnesota's Craig Kusick ended Montague's feat eight batters short of the major league record 41 retired by San Francisco's Jim Barr in 1972, and his hitless streak was ended at 13? innings when Dave Skaggs of the Orioles singled. Dan Meyer drove in five runs as the Mariners outlasted the Twins 9-7.
CHI 61-37 KC 55-42 MINN 58-45 TEX 53-45 CAL 47-52 SEA 45-61 OAK 42-59
Squandering big leads had become a trademark of Boston pitchers until three rookies—Don Aase, Mike Paxton and Bob Stanley—came to the rescue. Aase (pronounced AH-see), fresh up from the Red Sox' farm club in Pawtucket, R.I., beat the Brewers 4-3 in his major league debut. "Aase's fastball was overpowering," said Catcher Carlton Fisk. Aase struck out 11, the most by any Red Sox pitcher all season. Paxton stopped Milwaukee 12-0 on four singles, and Stanley, relieving Luis Tiant after he had been hit on the hand by a line drive, hurled 2? scoreless innings to complete a 3-0 victory over Nolan Ryan and the Angels. Before the rookies took command, Boston pitchers had been shelled for 26 runs in three games. Also helping the Red Sox (4-3) stay in hot pursuit of the Orioles (page 16) was Jim Rice, who hit his 25th, 26th and 27th home runs to take the league lead from teammate George Scott. Rice drove in nine runs and had 12 hits in 27 at bats to raise his average to .319, the third highest in the league.
Rookie pitchers also gave Detroit (4-2) a lift. Bob Sykes, 22, stopped Toronto 6-2 on a two-hitter to move the Tigers into fifth place. Dave Rozema, 21, gave up four homers but beat Texas 13-6 for his 10th win. Sinkerballer Fernando Arroyo, 25, beat Chicago 3-1, holding the White Sox to eight hits and getting 17 ground-ball outs as Detroit climbed to fourth place. On the negative side, Mark Fidrych was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder.
There was much speculation that Manager Billy Martin would be replaced at any moment, but Yankee Owner George Steinbrenner said, "You can bet he will have his job in October." Graig Nettles slugged his 23rd and 24th home runs for New York (5-1), and Dick Tidrow saved Don Gullett's ninth and 10th victories.
Grousing about anything and everything has become S.O.P. these days, but Milwaukee's Don Money, who holds major league fielding records as both a second and third baseman, did not utter a whimper when Manager Alex Grammas asked him to shift to left field so newcomer Lenn Sakata could be installed at second base. Money helped the Brewers (3-5) rebound from four one-run losses in a row by hitting his 15th homer in a 14-5 rout of the Red Sox. He also hit his 16th as Milwaukee trimmed the Blue Jays 7-3, and drove in two runs in a 3-2 win over Toronto.