While Chicago (3-2) and Philadelphia (4-3) were having a rematch at Wrigley Field, Montreal (4-3) quietly surged to a 6�-game lead, mainly because it swept three of four games from struggling St. Louis (2-6). Two wins were noteworthy. One came like lightning when, on the second pitch of a 2-2 game suspended in the 11th inning last May, Warren Cromartie clubbed a home run. Pitcher Ross Grimsley clinched the other game, 5-3, by squibbling a two-run single off the end of his bat past Pitcher John Denny. For Grimsley, the hit was his sixth in his last 13 at bats and the victory his fourth straight, boosting his record to 8-4, best on the Expo staff. Right-fielder Ellis Valentine chose to sit out seven consecutive games because of soreness in his buttocks, an ailment for which teammates displayed minute sympathy. Quipped one, "Whatever he's got is contagious, because he's giving everyone a pain there."
St. Louis tumbled from second place to fifth, and things got doubly grim when it was learned that Ted Simmons, batting .321 with 18 homers and 52 RBIs, had broken a wrist-bone when hit by a foul tip and will miss six weeks. One bright note was Silvio Martinez who fanned seven batters, walked none and set down 21 Expos in a row in a 5-0 one-hitter. Martinez had a no-hitter until Duffy Dyer lined a pitch over the head of First Baseman Keith Hernandez and into rightfield with two out in the eighth. "I hit it where no one happened to be," Dyer said. "That's smart hitting."
A torrent of home runs and a nifty five-hit shutout win over Pittsburgh by Rick Reuschel helped catapult the Cubs into fourth place, half a game out of second. Pitcher Mike Krukow cracked his first big league homer to help rout the Phillies 11-4; streaking Dave Kingman rapped out home runs No. 26 and 27; and Mike Vail, platooning in rightfield now that Bobby Murcer has been traded to the Yankees, unloaded a grand slam against the Mets. But the swattingest Cubbie of all was Centerfielder Jerry Martin, who hit shots out of the park in four consecutive games.
The Pirates (3-5), whose spirits had been sent soaring by their first successful West Coast trip in five years, returned home—and lost three of four. Dave Parker had six hits in 30 at bats, Willie Stargell did little but nurse a bruised hip, and Ed Ott, who homered in a 12-9 loss to New York, had just one other hit in 15 trips to the plate. But Bill Robinson did smash three home runs—he now has 18—and two of them led to victories, 2-1 over New York and 6-5 over Montreal. Better yet, the Pirates shellacked San Francisco off the field, trading for Pitcher Dave Roberts and In-fielder Bill Madlock, the 28-year-old two-time batting champ whose career .325 average is unsurpassed in the league. The Giants received two minor-leaguers and Pitcher Ed Whitson, who was 3-2 and had a 4.34 ERA upon arrival and was promptly ripped for two runs and a loss in his San Francisco debut. "For our two guys," complained Third Baseman Darrell Evans, "they should've got a 20-game winner."
The Mets (5-2) flashed un-cellarlike brilliance as Pete Falcone defeated Pittsburgh 4-0 for his first complete game since May 1977 and Andy Hassler, acquired recently from Boston, got his first National League victory, 6-2 over the Cards. Even more luminous were John Stearns (11 hits in 31 at bats), Joel Youngblood (11 for 29) and Lee Mazzilli, who bashed out eight hits in 20 at bats to lift his average to .337. In beating the Cubs 9-8, New York exploded for six runs in the top of the 11th and then barely hung on as Chicago scored five. The 11-run 11th broke a 93-year-old league record.
MONT 43-27 PITT 37-34 PHIL 39-36 CHI 35-33 ST.L 36-34 NY 30-39
Escorted by two highway-patrol officers on motorcycles, an armored truck bearing a rather large Styrofoam egg rolled across rightfield at San Diego Stadium toward the infield. The convoy stopped, and half a dozen Padres gingerly lifted the egg and rolled it to third base. Suddenly the egg hatched, and out popped none other than Ted Giannoulas, formerly the KGB Chicken but this time attired in a somewhat different ornithological costume. Giannoulas, who lost his right to wear the chicken getup after a legal battle with his former employers at radio station KGB, was given a standing ovation by 47,022 fans. The players laid another egg that night, losing to Houston 4-1, but San Diego (3-5) still moved into fourth place ahead of the slumping Dodgers by taking two of three from Atlanta. John D'Acquisto made a grand entrance himself, relieving starter Eric Rasmussen in the second inning and going 7? innings in a 6-5 win over the Braves. Phil Niekro's bases-loaded walk to Kurt Bevacqua in the bottom of the ninth had given the Padres a 2-1 victory the day before.
"These are the Braves?" asked Tommy Lasorda. "I thought they were the '27 Yankees." The Los Angeles manager had a point, considering that the Braves (5-3) beat the Dodgers (1-6) three times. Rick Matula defeated the National League champs twice, pitching his first complete game in a 4-2 win and later getting credit for a 5-2 victory. By the end of the week only one game separated last-place Atlanta from Los Angeles, which suffered through a four-night spell in which it scored only rive runs. The lone Dodger victory, 4-3 over San Diego, came on Joe Ferguson's two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth.