Texas is swinging too well to take one of Corbett's plastic pipes just now. Hargrove begins the afternoon at Yankee Stadium by hitting his fifth leadoff homer in the last 18 games. Three innings later Wills, who already has an RBI single, puts one in the upper deck. In the fifth Shortstop Bert Campaneris pops a homer barely fair and barely over the right-field fence.
Now it is the seventh. After singles by Willie Horton and Dave May, Third Baseman Toby Harrah hits a liner toward right. Rightfielder Lou Piniella smacks the wall—and so does the ball. Piniella goes down in a heap, and Harrah goes around the bases. After the obligatory hand slaps, Wills sends the next pitch toward deep center field. Mickey Rivers does a rain dance, the ball glances off his glove and Wills touches every base, too. It is only the second time that consecutive inside-the-park home runs have been hit in the majors.
The five homers in the game are a Ranger record and give Bert Blyleven a six-hit, 8-2 victory. After Wills flies deep to center in the seventh, his teammates ask him where he ate last night, because there must have been something in the food that brought on this outburst of raw power. Obviously, Bump did not inherit it from his old man, Maury. Wills tells them: The Good Times Restaurant.
Hunter is having a good time, too. In his office after the game, he takes off his shoes, puts up his feet, opens a beer and declares this "a very lovely day."
It is on afternoons like this, when the sun pours down and the wind whips out of Fenway Park, that visiting teams find out why Red Sox scouts are always on the lookout for right-handed hitters who can get the ball up in the air. Four Boston righties homer, and the Sox beat the Twins 7-5. Two of the clouts—not to mention a double good for two other runs—are Fenway wind jobs. With two runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, Minnesota's league-leading (102) RBI man Hisle crushes the ball but he fails to put arc on his shots. His two smoking liners disappear into the gloves of Boston outfielders.
Hisle sits and stares into his locker for more than half an hour after the game. Ron Schueler, the pitcher who gave up two of the wind-aided homers, sucks on a beer, gets up and slam-dunks the empty can into a barrel. For 25 minutes Mauch stalks the clubhouse. "I really thought we'd score big today," he says. "Real big." He puts out a cigarette, walks out the door and across the hall, then immediately reappears. "Oh, hell, someday the wind'll be blowing in, and we'll be hitting line drives."
Mauch had used a lineup that looked as if it had been drawn up by a third-grader from Pelican Rapids. Missing were Lyman Bostock, who had a nine-game hitting streak going, and four others who had started the night before. Hisle hit cleanup after having led off the two previous games. But Mauch has used about 100 lineups, with Hisle, Bostock and Butch Wynegar all batting in every position from first to seventh. "I thought this lineup would hit Bill Lee," he says. In a way he was right. The Twins hit Lee and Reliever Jim Willoughby hard enough—but not high enough.
Clearly there is an ill wind blowing for Minnesota. When the day's games are finished, the Twins find themselves in fourth place.