Texas (3-4) swept a doubleheader in Seattle, Doyle Alexander (14-10) taking the 5-1 opener on a four-hitter and Roger Moret breezing 7-1. With the Twins' infield over-shifted, Willie Horton took two rare shots to the opposite field. The results: his 13th homer and a run-scoring double as the Rangers prevailed 4-3.
Despite 5-4 and 7-4 triumphs over Texas, Minnesota (2-4) skidded to fourth place. Paul Thormodsgard (11-10) was the victor in the first of the wins, and Dave Goltz (17-8) got the decision in the other.
Arm problems caught up with Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana of California (5-2). After giving up just one hit in 61A innings, Ryan was tagged for successive Chicago hits as his forearm "tightened up." To the rescue came Dave LaRoche, who got his 14th save while wrapping up a 2-0 win for Ryan. That was the first shutout loss for the White Sox, who were trying to become the first team since the 1932 Yankees to go through a season without being blanked. The victory was Ryan's 19th, and lowered his ERA to 2.63, second only to the league-leading 2.54 of Tanana, who was told to rest his weary arm for 10 days. Bobby Bonds socked his 34th homer and stole his 33rd and 34th bases. Don Baylor hit three homers and batted .409.
Because they said they wished to play elsewhere next season, Doc Medich and Bill North of Oakland (3-4) were reprimanded by owner Charlie Finley. Medich was placed on irrevocable waivers, and North was benched. No team claimed Medich, so he was used in relief, hurled four scoreless innings and gained his second win of the week as the A's beat the Brewers 4-1. Mitchell Page drove in two runs and stole three bases in Medich's earlier 8-7 victory over Chicago and hit his 18th and 19th homers to help beat Detroit 7-5. The A's mini-surge moved them out of the cellar. Said the unimpressed North, "I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is called October."
What Seattle (2-6) pitchers saw were more home runs. Fifteen gopher balls gave the Mariner staff 176, 44 short of the major league mark set by Kansas City in 1964. But Seattle hit eight homers of its own, including three by Lee Stanton, who raised his total to 23.
KC 86-54 CHI 78-62 TEX 77-63 MINN 77-65 CAL 67-71 OAK 55-84 SEA 56-89