All of which benefited Montreal (7-1), which advanced to within a game of the Pirates after a club-record 10-game winning streak. During the streak, Coach Vern Rapp, who had performed a similar chore in a five-game string earlier in the season, took the lineup card to home plate. Unfortunately, last Friday night's game was played in St. Louis, and Rapp's appearance was probably all the incentive the Cardinals needed to snap the Expos' streak. Rapp had been fired by the Redbirds last year after establishing less than cordial relations with nearly every Cardinal player.
The Cards (5-2) continued on their tear, completing their most successful road trip—of at least 10 games—in 10 years. They added good pitching to their league-leading hitting and were playing sound fundamental baseball. Well, almost. For the second time this year, Relief Pitcher Darold Knowles tried his patented "trick play"—attempting to pick off a man at first with the bases loaded. The trick seems to be to hit the baserunner with the ball. This time it scored two runs and again cost the Cardinals a victory.
Chicago (1-6) ran its losing streak to seven before beating Philadelphia. The Phillies won four straight—all on the road—under new Manager Dallas Green. When they returned to the Vet, who should be in the stands but former skipper Danny Ozark. Ozark's luck ran true to form; he saw the Phils get three hits in the first inning. And then it rained. Storm David—n� Hurricane David—had hit the city, forcing cancellation of the game.
PITT 84-57 MONT 80-55 ST.L 76-63 CHI 72-67 PHIL 71-70 NY 55-84
Don Zimmer has not been making any long-range plans. With reports of his imminent firing, his coaches and his players all are expecting it. Boston is a tough town, and second place, let alone third, isn't good enough. The Red Sox (1-5) after losing 16 of 20 games were 13� back and virtually eliminated. The Red Sox tailspin could be attributed to injuries and the hot play of the Orioles, but according to baseball tradition, when the bus breaks down, you shoot the driver.
George Bamberger of Milwaukee (2-3) not only did not fear for his job, but he was also talked out of retiring and into another year of work. His Brewers were 24 games over .500 but still trailed the Orioles by 11�. Nonetheless, there was good reason to cheer. Larry Hisle, whom the Brewers feared might never play again after suffering a torn tendon in his right shoulder, appeared in his first game since May 4, got a hit and felt no pain.
Baltimore (6-0) continued its runaway to the division title. Mike Flanagan became the majors' first 20-game winner and four days later picked up his 21st victory.
Although there is no longer a division race, there are position races, and the one for fourth place between the Yankees (5-2) and the Tigers (2-5) is a dandy. Or is it between Billy Martin and Sparky Anderson? The two managers played a game at Tiger Stadium under a double protest that was doubly ridiculous. The Yankees won the game—and semi-firm control of fourth place.
Toronto (1-5) led Cleveland (4-2) 8-0 after six innings. In the eighth the Blue Jays turned the second triple play in their three-year history. Then they returned to form, committing five errors and giving up six runs in the ninth to lose 9-8. By dropping a 5-4 game to the Indians the next day, the Blue Jays hit the half-century mark, falling a full 50 games behind the Orioles. Even if the other clubs in the division forfeited all their remaining games with Toronto, the Jays would still finish in the cellar, 26 games out.