Before Kansas City (2-4) arrived in Cleveland for a three-game series, George Brett, the Royals' third baseman who was on the disabled list with a chipped bone in his right hand, said on national television that the team wouldn't miss him because "we're going into an easy part of the schedule." Aroused by Brett's remarks, the Indians took three straight from Kansas City. Then lowly Toronto made it four straight by rallying for two runs in the ninth to win 5-4. Larry Gura (9-2) ended the Royals' streak by beating the Blue Jays 5-3.
Second-place California (5-3) and third-place Oakland (4-3) split a four-game series. In the opening game Frank Tanana, the Angels' 14-game winner, lost 2-0 as the A's Matt Keough (7-7) won for the first time since the All-Star break. Nolan Ryan came next, and Oakland beat him 1-0 as Rick Langford (4-7) struck out 11. California came back as Don Aase (8-6) and Paul Hartzell (3-6) defeated the A's 8-2 and 8-1, respectively. Oakland also split with Seattle, and California took two of three from Minnesota.
Five straight losses convinced Texas (2-4) it needed outside help. So Lou Tiche, a clinical psychologist from the Pacific Institute in Seattle, came by to chat with players, coaches, front-office personnel, manager, trainer and wives. Then he watched as Ferguson Jenkins blanked Cleveland 8-0 and former Indian John Lowenstein hit a two-run home run with two out in the 12th for a 4-3 Ranger victory.
Minnesota (2-5) got no help from Umpire Vic Voltaggio. In the Twins' 3-1 loss to Seattle (4-2), Manager Gene Mauch was ejected for disputing one of Voltaggio's safe calls at second base. The next night Voltaggio enraged Mauch when he gave Mariner Leon Roberts his 17th home run even though the replay clearly showed the hit to be a ground-rule double. The Twins lost that one 6-5.
Mike Proly of Chicago (4-3) pitched a complete-game victory over Boston in his first major league start. But his teammate, 19-year-old Britt Burns, who three months ago was 20-1 in high school, lost his first start 7-0 to the Tigers.
KC 59-47 CAL 60-52 OAK 57-54 TEX 51-56 MINN 46-61 CHI 45-62 SEA 40-70
After three innings, Boston (4-3) trailed New York 5-0, and it appeared that the slumping Red Sox would lose for the 12th time in 15 games. However, at 1:15 a.m. the game was tied at 5-5 after 14 innings—and play was suspended until 8 p.m. because in the American League no inning can start after 1 a.m. That woke up the Red Sox. The next night Bob Stanley (6-1) pitched three perfect innings and Boston stroked four singles to win the suspended game 7-5 in 17 innings. Mike Torrez (13-6) then added insult to injury by beating his old club for the first time, 8-1, with home-run help from Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Bob Bailey. Rice's league-leading 25th home run was his second in 33 games and the team's first in the last seven.
Milwaukee (3-3) Manager George Bamberger was 52 years old when his Brewers ended their 5-5 suspended game in Baltimore. But when play resumed two nights later Bamberger was 53—and he got only half of his birthday wish. Milwaukee lost the suspended game 6-5 in 10 innings, but in the regularly scheduled game Mike Caldwell (14-5) won his seventh in a row, Larry Hisle hit his 24th home run, Sal Bando hit his 12th and the Brewers beat the Orioles 5-3. Back home Friday Lary Sorensen (13-8) stopped Boston 6-2 on a six-hitter as Hisle and Bando hit back-to-back first-inning home runs, Gorman Thomas hit his 25th and Cecil Cooper his eighth as the Brewers passed the Red Sox for the major league lead in home runs with 123. The next day Boston regained the home-run lead 124-123 as Jerry Remy, Dwight Evans and Carl Yastrzemski smashed homers in an 8-1 win that also enabled the Red Sox to regain their six-game lead over the second-place Brewers.