The Giants often were having trouble merely coping. Case No. 1: with two outs, Pitcher Bob Knepper fielded a grounder and, in trying to start an unneeded double play, threw the ball past Shortstop Johnnie LeMaster. Case No. 2: Rightfielder Jack Clark headed for the dugout after catching a fly for what he thought was the third out, but which actually was only the second. Case No. 3: Clark dug in at the plate in anticipation of the next pitch, not realizing that the previous delivery was ball four. Case No. 4: First Baseman Mike Ivie rolled the ball toward the mound after what he thought was the third out—it was the second—and allowed a run to score. At other times the Giants (3-4) were alert, John Montefusco ending a string of 35 incomplete games by beating San Diego 5-1 and Knepper defeating Cincinnati 3-1.
San Diego relievers had trouble protecting leads. Three times they blew late advantages as the Padres (0-6) collapsed.
Angered by Atlanta's dismal start, owner Ted Turner ordered the benching of slumping Gary Matthews, asked players with no-trade clauses in their contracts to waive such clauses, threatened a wholesale call-up of his Savannah farm team and banned food from the clubhouse. He also decided to send the Braves' most notable player, young slugger Bob Horner, who was hitting .059, to the minors, but Horner refused to go. So while Horner waited around Atlanta, asking to be traded and risking being put on the disqualified list, his replacement at third base, Larvell Blanks, started the Braves (4-2) off on a streak of four one-run wins with a 10th-inning homer that beat the Padres 3-2. Keeping Atlanta rolling were two game-winning hits by Chris Chambliss and one by Brian Asselstine.
CIN 12-4 HOUS 10-5 LA 10-7 SD 6-10 SF 6-11 ATL 5-10
They're called the "No Names," but last week the White Sox (5-1) battered clubs loaded with big names—the Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees—to move into first place. Britt Burns, 20, combined with Mike Proly for a 2-0 win in Boston, the first shutout there by Chicago since 1973. Reliever Ed Farmer, an oldtimer among the Sox at 30, had two saves and a victory, Steve (Rainbow) Trout, 22, stranded 10 Yanks during a 6-0 win, and Rich Dotson, 21, fanned nine Red Sox in six innings while defeating Boston 9-3. Among the big hitters—Chicago batted .372—were Harold Baines, 21, who had three doubles and a single as Baltimore was beaten 9-6, Mike Squires, 28, and Bob Molinaro, 29. When Chicago came from behind twice to defeat New York 8-7, it was Squires who put the White Sox ahead briefly with a single in the 10th and permanently with a suicide squeeze in the 12th. As for Molinaro, he had a two-run pinch homer in that game and batted .500.
Also surprising was Oakland (4-3), which ran its winning streak to seven games. The A's accomplished this by sweeping a 6-1, 8-2 doubleheader from the Angels behind the pitching of Matt Keough and Steve McCatty, and by beating the Mariners 4-2 on Jeff Newman's two-run double in the ninth.
Oakland lost twice to the Twins (4-1) as its Manager Billy Martin was pelted with marshmallows—a reminder of the day last fall when he punched out a salesman of same in Minnesota and got himself fired by the Yankees. Seven home runs helped the Twins to their best week thus far. Seattle (1-5) had its worst week, its only win coming when Bill Stein hit a two-run homer in the eighth to beat Oakland 5-4.
"What we need is to put together a complete game and some timely hitting," said California's Don Baylor. The Angels (3-3), who were hitting .186 for the season at the time, promptly ended a five-game skid by drubbing the Twins 17-0 on 17 hits as Bruce Kison gave up only one. He came within two outs of a no-hitter before Ken Landreaux doubled.
After his average had tumbled to .209, 1976 batting champ and 1979 runner-up George Brett of Kansas City (4-2) viewed films of himself when he was hitting well. Teammate Jamie Quirk, who also watched the movies, noticed that Brett used to hold his bat straighter, which George did the next night. Result: three hits, four RBIs and a 7-4 win over Toronto. Larry Gura, who had been shelled earlier in the week, also straightened himself out, beating Baltimore 7-0.