There was good news—and bad news—for Cincinnati(4-2). George Foster, out with a pulled muscle since the All-Star break, hit four balls into the stands during batting practice and pronounced himself ready to play this week. But the Reds also learned that .316-hitter Ken Griffey would be lost for the season with a strained knee. Actually, the pitching staff didn't need either one of them as it allowed only 11 runs in six games. Frank Pas-tore, recently recalled from the minors, won twice, Mike LaCoss gained his 12th win with a four-hitter, and Bill Bonham two-hit Atlanta 3-1. In the process, Bonham stopped Bob Horner's hitting streak at 20 games, the longest in the league this year. Horner's hitting hadn't been of much help anyway, because the Braves (1-5) lost 14 of the 20 games.
Los Angeles (5-2) moved up to fourth, 2� games out of third, as Don Sutton won twice and set Dodger records for strikeouts (2,494) and shutouts (50). The Giants (3-4) ended a five-game losing streak by winning three in a row. Ed Whitson seven-hit the Dodgers 7-1, Vida Blue returned to form in a 3-2 win over San Diego, and John Curtis drove in three runs and got the victory in a 10-7 defeat of the Padres. San Diego (2-3) benefited from John D'Acquisto's first shutout since 1974 and a four-hitter from Randy Jones, but still fell to fifth place. Ray Kroc, who owns the Padres among other franchises, thinks he has a solution. "I am thinking of firing all of our scouts," he said.
HOU 68-49 CIN 64-54 SF 55-62 LA 52-64 SD 52-65 ATL 46-71
Just a few hours earlier Bobby Murcer had delivered a moving eulogy at the funeral of teammate Thurman Munson in Canton, Ohio, and two innings before he had brought the Yankees (3-3) to within one run of Baltimore with a three-run homer. Now, with runners on second and third and none out in the bottom of the ninth, Murcer came to bat against Tippy Martinez. After two quick strikes, Murcer reached out for a low-and-away fastball and lined it into the leftfield corner to give New York an emotional 5-4 victory. Later in the week the Yankees lost two of three to the White Sox and blew a 6-4 lead in an 8-6 loss to the Orioles (2-4). Baltimore had earlier snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Milwaukee 3-2.
There were no surprises in the Boston Herald American poll that asked who was to blame for the Red Sox' second-place standing. After receiving 44% of the votes, Manager Don Zimmer said, "I knew I had a lock on it. I was like Secretariat. I won wire to wire." Nobody was complaining when Boston (5-3) took a doubleheader from Milwaukee 7-2 and 19-5. Or when the Red Sox trounced the Indians 12-3. But Fenway fans were howling when Boston dropped a doubleheader to Cleveland 6-4 and 8-2. Even so, the Red Sox were the only team in the division to play better than .500. With five home runs, Fred Lynn increased his total to 31 to take the league lead from Jim Rice, whose three homers gave him 30.
Following the horrendous doubleheader loss to Boston, Milwaukee Captain Sal Ban-do told his teammates, "Scatter when you leave the ball park. That way, the grenade won't get us all." The Brewers (3-4) got a measure of revenge later in the week by beating the Red Sox 9-6 in 10 innings.
Cleveland (4-4) stayed at .500 with good pitching from Len Barker, who beat his old team, the Rangers, twice, and Dan Spillner, who left the bullpen long enough to pitch a six-hit complete game victory over Boston. After Aurelio Lopez of Detroit (4-5) pitched 11? innings of relief over six days, Manager Sparky Anderson gave him the weekend off, instructing him to put a first baseman's glove on his throwing hand so he wouldn't use it. Toronto (2-4) had a three-hitter by Tom Underwood and a four-hitter by Dave Stieb.
BALT 76-38 BOS 70-44 MIL 67-50 NY 61-53 DET 59-57 CLEV 58-58 TOR 35-80