Act 1: Yankee runners on second and third against the Tigers, Graig Nettles up, Rick Cerone on deck. Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson, aware that Nettles is hitting .423 with men in scoring position, has the pitcher walk him intentionally to get to Cerone, a .242 batter in these circumstances. Cerone singles to climax a five-run fifth that puts New York (4-2) in front 6-3. Act 2: Yankee runners on second and third in the seventh, Nettles up. Another intentional pass. Another single by Cerone. Act 3: Nettles receives his third deliberate walk. To break up the monotony—and the game—Cerone clouts a grand slam as the Yankees win 13-5. Encore: With two runners on in the seventh inning of a scoreless game against Toronto, an intentional walk to hot-hitting Bobby Brown brings Cerone to the plate. Cerone's two-run double starts Luis Tiant on his way to a 6-0 triumph.
Even though team RBI leader Ruppert Jones was lost for about six weeks after surgery to correct an intestinal blockage, the Yankees had ample thunder in their bats. Four home runs, the last by Reggie Jackson, led to an 8-6 victory over the Blue Jays. Reggie barred Toronto's comeback from a 5-0 deficit with a two-run blast in the 11th to make a winner of Rudy May, who pitched 4? innings of shutout relief.
Milwaukee's mug continued to run over with runs. Twelve hits were collected by both Cecil Cooper, who also had eight RBIs, and Paul Molitor, who moved to the top of the league hitting chart with a .366 average. A three-run homer by rookie Mark Brouhard gave Lary Sorensen a 3-2 win over the Twins and an 18-hit attack did in the Mariners 11-1. The Brewers (5-2) were at their frothy best in Boston, setting three club records as they got 22 hits—including eight doubles—while winning 19-8.
Boston (2-4) lost that wild contest despite slamming six homers, two by newcomer Dave Stapleton. Three of the shots came consecutively in a four-home-run explosion in the fourth inning. Another four-bagger, Carl Yastrzemski's two-run poke in the ninth, finished off Toronto 5-4.
Luis Leal, Lloyd Moseby and Garth Iorg, three youngsters fresh from the minors, helped the Blue Jays (3-3) win twice. Although he gave up 12 hits, Leal was a 9-6 winner over the Yankees, thanks to Moseby's single, double, homer and four RBIs. And Iorg stole home as Toronto won 4-1 in Boston. Two days earlier, the Blue Jays were within one out of a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, but Damaso Garcia, Alfredo Griffin and Bob Bailor all singled to help pull out a 3-1 victory.
Clutch hitting and tight pitching gave the Indians (5-2) their best week of the season. Reliever Victor Cruz allowed only one hit in 3? innings, winning when Tom Veryzer singled in the ninth to beat the Orioles 7-6 and then pitching the final two innings of John Denny's four-hit, 5-0 defeat of the Brewers. Denny had earlier struck out eight as he beat the Red Sox 3-2. A nine-strikeout performance by Dan Spillner and back-to-back homers by Cliff Johnson and Ron Hassey tripped Seattle 5-2.
A pair of four-RBI games by Eddie Murray and Rich Dauer helped the Orioles (3-3) stop the Indians 7-3 and the Twins 11-1. And a 10th-inning pinch home run by Terry Crowley downed Minnesota 3-2.
Detroit's best reliever ever, John Hiller, hung up his spikes. Hiller, 37, who had been shelled in recent outings, came back from a serious heart attack in 1971 to set a league record with 38 saves two years later. The current ace of the bullpen for the Tigers (3-3), Aurelio Lopez, picked up a win and a save. Five homers, two by Richie Hebner, propelled Detroit past California 12-1.
NY 28-16 MIL 23-20 TOR 22-21 BOS 22-23 BALT 22-24 CLEV 21-23 DET 19-25