Richie Zisk hit two home runs and a double, and Pat Putnam went 4 for 5 with a pair of homers. Some more performances like those and Zisk and Putnam could end up in Cooperstown. Unfortunately for the Rangers (3-6), Zisk and Putnam were in Cooperstown—on Doubleday Field, to be exact, where the fences are short and the games don't count. Texas wasted 12 runs in a win over San Diego in the annual Hall of Fame game, and then proceeded to lose five of its next six real games and drop from second to fourth. The Rangers are 8-17 since the All-Star break, and they could use a day off to rest and regroup. They played three double-headers in four days and spent their "off day" in Cooperstown.
While Texas fell, Kansas City (6-1) rose from the ashes. Hal McRae, back in action after missing 51 games with a shoulder injury, went 11 for 31 with 13 RBIs, three home runs and three doubles. The Royals scored 56 runs during the week, including 11 in the seventh inning of a wild 16-12 win over Toronto. Kansas City also beat the Tigers four times, in the process sweeping its first doubleheader in nearly two years.
The fans are calling Jim Fregosi "Magic" for the way he has kept the Angels (4-3) in first place despite a heavily populated disabled list. Fregosi may not need his wand much longer, because his pitching staff should soon be intact again. Chris Knapp, sidelined for two months with a herniated disc, has been reactivated, and Nolan Ryan, out since July 25, tested his arm and will start next week. Even Frank Tanana, who hasn't pitched since June 10 because of tendinitis, vowed he would be back for the stretch drive. The Angels still had their bats: Don Baylor raised his major league-leading RBI total to 104; Rod Carew and Brian Downing kept hitting (their batting averages were .344 and .332, respectively); and Dan Ford batted .469 for the week.
American League hitters won't have Matt Keough to kick around anymore, at least not as a starter. A's Manager Jim Marshall sent the hard-luck pitcher to the bullpen for his own safety after the Angels beat him 8-1. The loss dropped Keough's record to 0-14, tying him with Joe Harris of the 1906 Red Sox for the worst season's start. The defeat was Keough's 18th straight, stretching back to last season, bringing him to within one of the league record. The rest of the Oakland A's (3-4) still had a decent week—for them—as Dave Revering hit five home runs and Mike Heath was twice a late-inning hero.
Minnesota (5-3) gained half a game on California, thanks to Mike Marshall's three saves and Ken Landreaux' .548 hitting. The next three weeks will determine whether the Twins are contenders or pretenders, because they will be playing 20 straight games against the Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees.
Chicago (4-2) had won only seven of 41 previous meetings with the Yankees, but the White Sox came bouncing out of their latest three-game series with two wins as Tex Wortham won the rubber game 5-1 on a two-hitter. Seattle Manager Darrell Johnson told reporters he had a secret ingredient for success. "Brewers' yeast has made me a better manager," he said. But after the Mariners won only two of six, Johnson decided to add wheat germ to his diet.
CAL 66-51 MINN 61-53 KC 60-55 TEX 60-56 CHI 51-63 SEA 49-68 OAK 35-82