Ron Fairly's first two homers of the season helped California (4-2) dispose of Toronto 5-4 and 5-0. Pitching the shutout was Nolan Ryan, who struck out 11 as he tossed a two-hitter. Frank Tanana's fifth win was a 5-1 four-hitter against Seattle.
Wilbur Wood of Chicago (1-5) earned his first victory when he beat Detroit 7-2. But the White Sox, who were shut out only twice all last season, got few other runs and were whitewashed for the third time this year.
A massive traffic jam kept Seattle Manager Darrell Johnson from making it to Anaheim Stadium Monday night. In his absence the Mariners (3-4) beat the Angels 6-5. Friday night Johnson watched in dismay as the Mariners had traffic problems of their own. In the first two innings against Detroit, six of the first 10 Mariners hit safely and another walked, yet Seattle scored just once as four runners were cut down trying to stretch hits or steal bases.
OAK 15-5 KC 13-5 CAL 14-6 TEX 8-10 CHI 6-11 MINN 8-15 SEA 7-18
Detroit's youth movement has received most of the publicity, but last week it was the rejuvenation of the geriatric set that kept the Tigers (5-2) in front. Rusty Staub, 34, hit .393 and had eight RBIs, and Aurelio Rodriguez, 30, belied his .237 career average with .364 hitting. At week's end his .429 was leading the majors. Jack Billingham, 35, beat Chicago 4-1 for his third win without a loss. And John Hiller, 35, earned a win and a save as he gave up only one run and three hits in seven innings of relief.
Three pitching stalwarts faltered for Boston (2-4). Reliever Bill Campbell faced two batters in Texas, gave up a single and a homer and lost 5-4. After being clobbered by Cleveland in a 10-7 loss, Dennis Eckersley said, "I just don't have a good popping fastball and my breaking ball is lazy, sloppy." Mike Torrez, a 6-4 loser in Milwaukee, said, "No fastball. No curve. No slider. No zip." There were no complaints from Bill Lee (4-0), who trimmed the Brewers 4-3.
Perhaps fearful that whatever goes down might come up, Ron Guidry of New York (3-2) was removed in the eighth inning against Baltimore after swallowing tobacco juice while trying to make a fielding play. The Yankees won that game 8-2 with an eight-run fifth in which they had seven straight singles, one short of the league record.
Heeding the advice of Rod Carew, Cecil Cooper of Milwaukee (2-3) has been crouching at the plate. The change has straightened out Cooper's hitting. He batted .381 and unloaded his sixth and seventh homers, one of which helped defeat Boston 6-4.
Baltimore (2-3) has led the league in defense in each of the past four seasons, averaging slightly under 115 errors. This year, however, the Birds already have made 20 errors, including six last week. Reliever Don Stanhouse, who is unscored on in 10? innings, notched his fourth and fifth saves.