The Boston (2-1) catching situation grew critical. Kept from playing defense because of an elbow ailment, Carlton Fisk decided to try pinch hitting. "The first swing, I felt like someone had shot me," he said after striking out. He was put on the 15-day disabled list. With Bob Montgomery and Mike O'Berry also injured. Manager Don Zimmer was forced to use rookie Gary Allenson, whose throwing he had belittled during spring training. "When I put him in during the 11th inning, I was praying Dick Drago wouldn't walk anybody," Zimmer said early in the week, "if someone had gotten on, he would've tried to steal." But when Zimmer used Allenson for eight innings of a 12-10 win over Milwaukee, Allenson allowed only one stolen base. "He'll be all right," Zimmer backtracked. Meanwhile the Sox won two games by unexpected means: Jim Dwyer's bases-loaded single, the first pinch RBI by a Sox since 1977, clinched the 12-10 game; and in a one-out, bases-loaded situation against Cleveland, Zimmer, in an unorthodox maneuver, had everyone running when Jack Brohamer grounded to second. With no chance for a double play, the Indians had to make the play to first and let the winning run score.
Milwaukee won three of five as George Bamberger agreed to manage through the 1980 season. Mike Caldwell shut out Boston 3-0 before 54,392 fans on a 38� opening day. and nine Brewers combined for 12 homers during the week. After a Milwaukee club-record six home runs helped edge Baltimore 11-10, Oriole (1-5) Manager Earl Weaver said, "They can hit, that's all there is to it."
Toronto (4-1) was in surprisingly good form. Catcher Rick Cerone already has two-thirds of his 1978 homer total of three, and slugger John Mayberry has no homers, but a .458 batting average. New York went 4-2 as Tommy John beat Milwaukee 2-1 in his American League debut and then shut out Baltimore 5-0 by inducing 18 ground-ball outs.
The Indians had no home runs, no complete games and no wins in four tries, but there was plenty of talk about the possible dismissal of Manager Jeff Torborg. Relievers took all of the losses for Detroit (1-3).
MIL 5-2 BOS 3-2 TOR 4-3 NY 4-4 BALT 3-5 DET 1-4 CLEV 1-5
At first the A's (1-6) played as if they were dizzy. They lost three of four to lowly Seattle (3-4), committing 13 errors, two passed balls and one wild pitch. Then, it developed, two of the A's were dizzy: Mickey Klutts and Mario Guerrero, who were knocked silly when they were hit on the head by batted balls they should have caught. The Mariners, who blew two rundown plays, looked a bit dizzy themselves.
Minnesota's Jerry Koosman was shell-shocked—not by the opposition but by the Twins (4-2), who supported the former Met with 11 hits in his American League debut, an 8-1 victory over the Angels. Averaging nearly eight runs a game, California won its five other outings. Bobby Grich homered three times, Don Baylor ran his hitting streak to seven games, and Carney Lansford batted .429 to help Nolan Ryan, Chris Knapp and Don Aase to complete-game victories. Even better was Texas (5-0), which remained baseball's only unbeaten team, despite the unavailability of ace Jon Matlack, who was placed on the disabled list. Al Oliver homered twice into a 38-mph wind, and Reliever Sparky Lyle allowed no hits in his first four appearances.
The White Sox (2-3) were whipped 10-2 by Toronto in their home opener, prompting embarrassed owner Bill Veeck to offer all 41,073 fans free admission to the next game. Only 2,220 of them returned to watch the Sox lose again, 9-7. Kansas City dropped three of five, despite Fred Patek's second 4-for-4 game of the season.