The Cardinals (3-3), who are last in the majors in homers with 75, belted a pair in two straight games as they downed the Padres 12-4 and 7-1. Mike Tyson homered and had six RBIs in the first game. St. Louis also beat New York 2-0 on Bob Forsch's two-hitter.
Tony Perez hit the first three-run single of his 14-year career as Montreal (4-3) defeated Atlanta 7-2. Scoring all the way from first on that hit was Andre Dawson, who also turned on his speed during a 6-2 win in St. Louis when he stole second, went to third on an infield out and stole home. Gary Carter's 20th and 21st homers came during a 13-0 swamping of Philadelphia. The Expos slammed 15 doubles to increase their league-leading total to 221.
Three players picked up in the trade for Tom Seaver helped New York (2-5) beat St. Louis 5-1. Pat Zachry was the winner, and Doug Flynn and Steve Henderson contributed vital hits.
PHIL 75-45 PITT 71-52 CHI 68-52 ST.L 68-54 MONT 56-67 NY 49-72
If we put any heat on the Dodgers, I'd be very surprised if they wouldn't back away." That was Manager Sparky Anderson's appraisal of his Reds' chances of catching division-leading Los Angeles. "When I get a pitch I can handle, I try to be aggressive. I don't try to kill the ball. I just try to bruise it." Those were the words of George Foster, who bashed three balls over the wall to raise his home-run total to 41. With Foster becoming the first major-leaguer since 1973 to slam 40 homers in a season, with his teammates adding seven more four-baggers, with Joe Morgan stealing four bases, with Ken Griffey batting .435, with Fred Norman winning twice and with Pedro Borbon saving two games, Cincinnati (6-2) closed to within 9� games of Los Angeles.
The Dodgers (3-3) hit a feeble .222. Shutouts by Doug Rau (1-0 over Atlanta) and Don Sutton (7-0 over San Francisco) prevented a fadeout. After his fourth loss in a row the week before, Sutton had gone into an auxiliary clubhouse at Dodger Stadium and wrecked "five lockers, two tables, two chairs and the housing for a fire extinguisher." It was the perfect therapy, because the next time out. Sutton gave up just one hit, an eighth-inning single by Giant Marc Hill. That was the fifth one-hitter of Sutton's career and gave him a share of the league record with Mordecai Brown, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Jim Maloney and Tom Seaver. Bob Feller has the big league record of 12.
Phil Niekro of Atlanta (2-5) became the 55th pitcher to hurl 3,000 or more innings. His 5-3 defeat of Montreal was his 17th complete game, tops in the league. In one game the Braves ended a string of 25 innings without scoring and in another fought back from a 6-0 deficit to overhaul the Astros 9-6.
Joe Niekro of Houston (3-3) won his fourth game in five decisions since becoming a starter, stopping San Diego 6-3. Then came two wins in Atlanta—15-3 as Art Howe hammered a grand slam and 4-1 behind Mark Lemongello (5-13).
For the fifth consecutive time, Ed Halicki of the Giants (3-4) beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, throttling them 6-3. Halicki (11-9) also shackled Pittsburgh 5-1, making the Giants 8-1 against the Pirates.