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Even when they messed up, the Twins (6-1) could do no wrong. Heading for second base after homering against Detroit, Glenn Adams suddenly turned toward the dugout. He had lost the ball in the terrible lighting of Metropolitan Stadium and assumed Tiger Centerfielder Ron LeFlore had made the catch. Fortunately, eagle-eyed First-Base Coach Karl Kuehl saw the ball clear the fence and stopped Adams before he left the base path. Adams then completed his tour of the bases. The homer beat Detroit 7-6.
The Mariners (1-5) also needed better vision. After benching Tom Paciorek against Boston Pitcher Dennis Eckersley, Seattle Manager Darrell Johnson explained, "I had a vision when I went to sleep last night. I saw Paciorek batting against Eckersley, and I didn't like what I saw." He couldn't have liked what he saw in the waking world, either—as Paciorek's replacement, John Hale, struck out three times.
Oakland (3-3) had pleasanter dreams. The A's played like contenders in beating Boston and New York in three of five games. In one of those victories, a 7-5 triumph over the Yankees, Reliever Bob Lacey indulged in a little wish fulfillment by spiking the ball after getting the last out. "I've dreamed about catching a long pass from Kenny Stabler," said Lacey, "and spiking the ball on the Coliseum's natural turf. I've even dreamed of Curt Gowdy sitting in the booth describing the action."
Several Angels (2-3) had heavenly weeks. Don Baylor beat New York 2-1 with a bases-loaded single to finish April with a league-record 28 runs batted in. Nolan Ryan outdueled New York's Ron Guidry 1-0. The game's only run was provided by players who each started the evening with a .000 average. Catcher Terry Humphrey, who had been to bat only once before, singled in the third inning, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Second Baseman Jim Anderson, who had been 0 for 1 as well.
Texas (4-3) traded unhappy Shortstop Bert Campaneris to California for Infielder Dave Chalk, but that didn't eliminate all the Rangers' headaches. Though the Rangers took two of three from Kansas City (3-3), Ferguson Jenkins was riled about being removed from a game with a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning. Texas eventually beat the Royals 8-7. And neither Texas nor Chicago (2-3) was pleased about playing a game in cold Comiskey Park. "The umpires' supervisor [Dick Butler] was here, sitting up in the press box," said Texas Manager Pat Corrales, "and he told the umpires not to call it off." That was just one of many complaints about the substitute umps. The Kansas City players and coaches sent letters to several baseball executives, urging them to settle the regular umpires' job action. "It is ridiculous to go out every day under these circumstances," they wrote.
The Royals got all the relief they could ask for on the field—6? innings from rejuvenated Steve Busby, who allowed just three hits and two unearned runs; and 5? scoreless innings from Al Hrabosky, who won one game and saved another. The good news in Texas was 1? innings of painless, if poor—five hits, six runs—pitching by Jon Matlack, who is coming off elbow surgery. And Eric Soder-holm of the White Sox, volunteering to bat cleanup, helped win a game 7-6 over Texas with four RBIs.
MINN 17-8 CAL 16-10 TEX 14-10 KC 14-11 CHI 11-13 OAK 10-16 SEA 8-19
While New York (2-4) sputtered, Baltimore (5-0) streaked. All the Orioles lacked was a decent wordsmith. When Doug DeCinces was placed on the 21-day disabled list and Jim Palmer left a game in the first inning, both with back ailments, the word went around that the Orioles would have to "back" into a division title. Maybe not, since Palmer recovered to knock off California 9-1 with ninth-inning relief help from Tim Stoddard. And after Ken Singleton hit his seventh and eighth homers, someone suggested that he change his name to—heh, heh—Homerton. The Orioles have averaged 11.8 hits over their last 11 games, and Rich Dauer was .538 for the week, with eight runs and four RBIs; Lee May clubbed his 10th grand slam, most among active American Leaguers; and Stoddard struck out seven Mariners in a 2?-inning relief appearance.