In a week of exceptional pitching (altogether there were 17 games in which American League teams were held to five hits or fewer) no one was more impressive than Nolan Ryan of California (2-3), who hurled the sixth one-hitter of his career as he defeated Cleveland 5-0. The only hit off Ryan was a sixth-inning single by Duane Kuiper. For Ryan, who struck out 12, the win was his second straight shutout, and it reduced his ERA to 1.62. Merv Rettenmund's pinch grand slam beat the Indians 7-3 for the Angels' other victory.
Two low-hit games were tossed by the remarkable first-place A's (4-1): John Johnson trimmed Detroit 5-1 on four hits, and Pete Broberg and Bob Lacey gave up five hits in an 11-3 romp over Toronto. Although he was only five for 18, Gary Alexander continued to make his hits count by connecting for three game-winning homers. Alexander, who has had seven game-deciding hits, got one of his home runs in an 11-3 rout of the Blue Jays, and settled 2-1 triumphs over Cleveland and Toronto with his other clouts.
Another 2-1 victory was chalked up by another Alexander—Pitcher Doyle of Texas (3-1)—who beat Baltimore on a three-hitter. Ferguson Jenkins' four-hit pitching seemed to be for naught until the Rangers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to overtake the Red Sox 2-1. That uprising included a single by Bert Campaneris, an RBI double by Richie Zisk and an RBI pinch single by John Lowenstein. Zisk also drove in both runs in Alexander's squeaker and doubled his career total of stolen bases—he had two in 740 previous games—by stealing second and third as the Rangers beat the Yankees 9-5.
Seattle (3-2) had its first winning week of the season, with two of its triumphs coming against Toronto. Paul Mitchell yielded seven Blue Jay singles as he prevailed 6-0, and Steve Braun drove in four runs to back up Rick Honeycutt's four-hitter in a 9-1 romp. Reliever Enrique Romo worked out of a bases-full jam in the eighth against the Tigers, allowed only one hit in 3? innings and became a 4-3 winner when Julio Cruz singled in the 11th inning.
"I was so nervous I felt the ground was rushing up at me," said Rich Gale after his pitching debut for Kansas City (1-5). Gale, a 6'7" redhead brought up from Omaha to replace injured Steve Busby, was a 3-0 victor over Milwaukee. Steve Mingori worked the final two innings after Gale, who already had three plantar warts and a bad back, developed a blister on his pitching hand.
"For the first time, I'm looking at baseball as a job," said Rod Carew of the struggling Twins (1-4). Adding to his miseries was an 11-9 defeat in Boston during which the Twins gave up seven walks and were guilty of two errors, a balk and a wild pitch. Nevertheless, Carew had some on-the-job fun against Baltimore. His fourth hit of the day, a three-run triple, highlighted a seven-run ninth and an 8-7 victory.
Chicago (1-4) clunked into the cellar, as Wilbur Wood earned the White Sox' only win, a 5-3 victory over Milwaukee in which Lamar Johnson hit a two-run, eighth-inning homer.
OAK 19-6 CAL 16-9 KC 14-10 TEX 11-11 SEA 10-20 MINN 9-19 CHI 7-15