While pitching kept Baltimore (page 18) in first place, Boston, in a batting slump since mid-May, erupted for 58 runs and 13 homers, won six of seven games and closed to within a game of the Orioles. Fred Lynn (.343) and Jim Rice (.393) each walloped four homers, and Carl Yastrzemski batted .440 and drove in 10 runs, giving him a career total of 1,564 RBIs and lifting him ahead of Tris Speaker into 17th on the alltime list. Rice was elated. "Now the pitchers won't know what to do," he chortled. In the amateur draft, Boston's No. 1 selection was University of Florida Catcher Marc Sullivan, the son of Red Sox owner and general manager, Haywood Sullivan. "Marc isn't 21 so I had to co-sign his contract," Haywood said after his son agreed to terms. "At least I know what he's making."
New York (4-3) and Milwaukee (3-3) continued running in place. Tommy John won his 10th game against one loss, 8-3 over Kansas City, and Lou Piniella was 13 for 32, but the Yankee bullpen continued to struggle, especially against the Royals in an 11-10 win and a 9-8 loss, both in extra innings. The pitching of Mike Caldwell was typical of the Brewers' week. He shut out Chicago 6-0 and then lost to the White Sox 6-2. After the victory, Caldwell said, "One reason I pitched well was that San Diego was in town to play the Cubs. I broke in with those guys and I knew they'd be watching me on TV." Sorry, Mike, the game wasn't televised.
Rookie Phil Huffman of Toronto (3-3) lost his sixth consecutive game, 4-2 to California, and in a 3-0 defeat by the Angels the Blue Jays failed to score for the second straight game for Tom Underwood, who is 0-8 and winless in 12 starts since Aug. 8, 1978. But Jesse Jefferson beat California 5-4 to end his 12-game losing streak; then Huffman pitched eight innings of five-hit ball to shut out Oakland, and Toronto had three straight wins for the first time since April 14—as well as its best week of the season.
Cleveland (5-1) had its best week, too, as Duane Kuiper hit .375, Bobby Bonds .368 and Paul Dade .368. Reliever Sid Monge won two games and lowered his ERA to 1.87, second-best in the league, by yielding no runs—and just three hits—in 9? innings against Seattle and Oakland.
Detroit (2-4), after having won nine of its last 11, returned to earth, dropping three games to Seattle and California. With injured Mark Fidrych doing television commentary, the rest of the Tiger pitching staff surrendered 11 home runs, including six to Seattle in an 11-2 defeat. Former Tiger Willie Horton had two of the Mariners' homers, and he was quick to dedicate one four-bagger to ex-Tiger Manager Ralph Houk. "It's for Houk's getting rid of me," he said. "I thought about that as I rounded the bases."
BALT 36-21 BOS 34-21 MIL 32-27 NY 31-27 DET 25-26 CLEV 27-28 TOR 16-42