Johnny Bench of Cincinnati (5-2) drove in two runs during a 6-2 triumph over Los Angeles, giving him 100 RBIs for the sixth season. Tom Seaver's 3-2 defeat of the Dodgers was his 200th career victory. The Reds took a third game from the Dodgers, 9-8.
Cincinnati, however, was unable to defeat Houston (4-3), losing twice as the Astros took the season series 13-5. Cesar Cedeno and Jose Cruz homered twice and Bob Watson once, as the Astros subdued the Reds 7-2 behind the pitching of J. R. Richard. In a 13-4 drubbing of the Reds the next day, Watson hit his 17th homer. Watson rounded out his 12-RBI and .423-hitting week with homers during 6-3 and 11-0 wins in San Francisco. Richard (16-11) pitched the shutout, allowing only three hits and striking out 10.
A run-producing single in the eighth by Rob Andrews gave San Francisco (3-4) a 2-1 win over Houston. Ed Halicki (14-10) won that one with the aid of Gary Lavelle, who got his 19th save.
Gene Richards of San Diego (2-5) finished off Houston 4-3 with a single in the 10th. Richards also batted .484 and stole three bases to raise his total to 48, one short of the modern record for a rookie held by Sonny Jackson of the 1966 Astros.
Catchers were productive for Atlanta (3-4). Biff Pocoroba hit a two-run homer as Phil Niekro defeated San Francisco 3-1, and newcomer Dale Murphy bopped two home runs, one a tie-breaker in the 10th, to carry the Braves past the Padres 8-7.
LA 91-58 CIN 80-70 HOUS 75-74 SF 68-82 SD 65-86 ATL 56-93
Manager Whitey Herzog would not take credit for the Royals' 16-game winning streak, the longest in the majors since the 1953 Yankees won 18 in a row. But Herzog did feel he had been instrumental in Kansas City's best previous spurt, 11 consecutive victories in 1959. Said Herzog, who was on the disabled list then, "They couldn't have done it with me." With or without Herzog, the Royals (6-1) lengthened their division lead to 11 games.
Devastating floods prevented the Royals from playing at home for two days. During the rains, George Brett went to see a performance by Morganna, the stripper who recently dashed on the field to give him a kiss. While there, Brett reciprocated, clambering onstage to buss her. Amos Otis was up to more laudable pursuits, housing eight boys stranded by the flood. Otis fed the kids, bedded them down in his apartment, phoned their parents and drove each home the next day. After the floodwaters receded, the Royals won successive doubleheaders from the A's. Two of the wins went to 17-game winners Jim Colborn, who prevailed 5-2, and Dennis Leonard, who was a 6-0 victor. Hal McRae batted .419 and hit his 50th and 51st doubles, the most by an American Leaguer since George Kell had 56 in 1950.
A squeeze bunt, superlative relief work and a couple of Ellises boosted Texas (4-3) into second place. A successful squeeze play by Bert Campaneris in the 17th inning gave the Rangers a 5-4 win over the Twins Len Barker pitched 9? innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory. Barker also saved a 3-2 win over the Angels for Dock Ellis. Another Ellis, Johnny, homered as Doyle Alexander (15-10) held off California 2-1 on a three-hitter. Although a loser, Gaylord Perry bumped Cy Young out of fourth place on the alltime strikeout list with his 2,820th whiff.