Rick Langford of Oakland (3-3) defeated the Indians 4-1 on three hits in his fifth straight complete game. Seattle star Bruce Bochte was wondering again if his teammates would fold in the stretch. When he expressed similar feelings in 1978, Manager Darrell Johnson called him a "big mouth." This time—as the Mariners lost five of six for the week and eight of their last 10—Johnson seemed to agree with Bochte as he called a team meeting to discuss the club's poor play. If Seattle eventually does fold, of course, hardly anyone will notice.
CAL 68-55 MINN 64-57 KC 63-59 TEX 61-62 CHI 54-68 SEA 50-73 OAK 38-85
On the surface, all was well in Boston (5-1). The Red Sox have baseball's two hottest players in Dennis Eckersley, who beat Minnesota 12-1 to win his eighth straight start, and Fred Lynn, whose hitting figured in all five victories. But storm clouds were gathering over Back Bay. Catcher Carlton Fisk reinjured his right elbow, sidelining himself indefinitely, and the staff earned run average, excluding Eckersley, has been 4.83 since the All-Star break. With second basemen Jerry Remy and Jack Brohamer both injured, the Red Sox hurriedly acquired Ted Sizemore from the Cubs, and he promptly provided some welcome sunshine, going 3 for 3 and spearheading an 8-2 win over the White Sox in his debut.
The Orioles (3-3) collected only 19 hits in their first five games but twice beat Chicago 2-1 in the 12th inning. One victory came on Al Bumbry's single, the other as the result of a play called "32 trap," in which base runner Doug DeCinces deliberately allowed himself to be spotted wandering between first and second while Eddie Murray was at third. When White Sox Pitcher Guy Hoffman turned, to pick off DeCinces, Murray raced home to score. Even so, Manager Earl Weaver was displeased. "We could use a visit from Dr. Long Ball," he said. The next day the doctor delivered 14 hits—five for extra bases—and the Orioles whipped Kansas City 9-2.
Even as reports surfaced that the concrete was deteriorating in Yankee Stadium, New York (4-2) was abuilding. Bobby Murcer slugged three homers; Reggie Jackson, who has never finished a season with a batting average of more than .300, edged up to .306; and Oscar Gamble beat his old Texas teammates by singling twice, homering and throwing out former Yankee Mickey Rivers at the plate.
"We need a new manager," said Pitcher Tom Buskey of the Blue Jays. "Roy Hartsfield doesn't know how to handle a pitching staff." Buskey's timing could not have been worse. The Blue Jays (4-3) had their second winning week of the season as Hartsfield got victories from two rookies he inserted into the pitching rotation. Butch Edge won his major league debut, 4-2 over the A's, and Dave Stieb beat the Angels 6-5.
Resurgent Cleveland (3-3) kept rolling behind leadoff man Mike Hargrove, who batted .409 and homered four times, and Rick Wise (13-7), who shutout Seattle on five hits.
Detroit and Milwaukee each won five of six, though they did it by different means. Led by Pitcher Jack Morris, who won twice, and Jason Thompson, who homered thrice, the Tigers triumphed with relative ease. The Brewers, however, were down to their last out two games in a row against Kansas City before pulling out victories on Ben Oglivie's homer and Gorman Thomas' bases-loaded walk.
BALT 79-41 BOS 75-45 MIL 72-51 NY 65-55 DET 64-58 CLEV 61-61 TOR 39-83