With the team sluggins like the Yankees of old instead of behaving like the Crankees of recent months, New York (5-2) built a two-game lead over Boston. Eleven Yankee homers complemented tight pitching, most notably Ron Guidry's 2-1 victory against Texas, Catfish Hunter's 11-1 defeat of Minnesota and Sparky Lyle's 20th and 21st saves. Graig Nettles homered three times, Mickey Rivers had eight hits in a row and none of the players accused Manager Billy Martin of giving them a subtle dig when he treated them to a clubhouse feast of Maryland crabs.
Nothing perturbed the Yankees, not the first homer given up by their pitching staff in 59 innings, not a run-in with White Sox owner Bill Veeck, not an accusation of spying. For some time now, Yankee Administrative Assistant Gene Michael has had the league's permission to station himself in press boxes with a walkie-talkie, the better to advise the dugout on positioning the defense. Veeck objected to Michael's presence in Chicago's press box and ordered him to the stands, where he was heckled by fans. Minnesota Manager Gene Mauch suspected the Yankees might have stolen his signs, but the New Yorkers were hardly upset by that charge—mainly because they won the game 6-4.
Dwight Evans was placed on the disabled list with torn knee ligaments. Fred Lynn rehurt the ankle that had hampered him since spring training and Carlton Fisk said the Red Sox (2-6) were "in a mental slump." Lifting their spirits were Bill Campbell's 21st save during a 9-6 win over Texas and four homers that polished off Minnesota 7-5.
Manager Earl Weaver of Baltimore (2-5) was ejected from two games, Shortstop Mark Belanger's errorless streak stopped at 63 games and Brooks Robinson's 23-year playing career came to an end. Following a 10-5 defeat of Chicago, Weaver admitted, "I managed the whole thing right here [in the clubhouse] on closed-circuit TV and old No. 77 [the telephone extension to the dugout]." For Robinson, the end came so room could be made for the return of Catcher Rick Dempsey from the disabled ranks. Rich Dauer had six hits in the Birds' two wins and batted .526.
Detroit (4-3) walloped nine home runs, and got unaccustomed pitching from Fernando Arroyo, who had been knocked out in the first inning in three of his previous four starts. He went the route to beat California 5-1. The Tigers announced that Mark Fidrych will pitch no more this season; he will rest his ailing arm and perhaps play some winter ball.
Solid hitting and pitching kept alive Cleveland's hopes of bumping Detroit out of fourth place. Andre Thornton hit his 24th homer and raised his slugging percentage to .584, second only to the .590 of Boston's Jim Rice. Bruce Bochte batted .407 and Jim Bibby won on a two-hitter and Dennis Eckersley with a three-hitter and four-hitter as the Indians had four victories in seven games.
Cecil Cooper's 15th home run and Sal Bando's 14th helped Mike Caldwell of Milwaukee (1-6) beat Texas 4-2. Bill Castro came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of that game to nail down his 13th save.
"I didn't have any curve at the start and I couldn't get my fastball over," said rookie Jim Clancy of Toronto (3-4), who got his act together as the game went on and beat Oakland 8-1. The Blue Jays swept a doubleheader in Seattle during which Hector Torres had six RBIs. Jerry Garvin won the opener 7-0. Jesse Jefferson the nightcap 9-3. Newcomer Rick Cerone became the first catcher to throw out Oakland rookie Mitchell Page, who had stolen 26 bases in a row.
NY 76-52 BOS 73-53 BALT 72-54 DET 60-67 CLEV 59-69 MIL 56-78 TOR 45-81