After leaving Boston, the Yankees were greeted at the Indians' cavernous Cleveland Stadium by 73,096 fans—the largest major league crowd since 1973. They got more than their money's worth—a two-hit, 7-0 shutout performance by Wayne Garland and a glorious fireworks display. Otherwise the Indians (2-5) fizzled.
Led by Richie Hebner's .360 hitting, the Tigers (4-3) climbed briefly into second. After Dan Petry and Aurelio Lopez landed them there, combining for a four-hit, 4-3 win over Toronto, the Detroit Free Press ran a comparison of their May 28 last-place standing and their July 5 second-place record. The paper neglected to note that in the interim the Tigers had gained just 1� games on the Yankees. And no sooner was the newsprint dry than the lowly Blue Jays (2-5) dropped Detroit to third, 5-3. In that game Tiger runners Rick Peters and Alan Trammell arrived on third base at the same time.
Steve Stone of Baltimore (4-2) became the league's first 12-game winner, besting Boston 10-3 and throwing seven shutout innings at Toronto in a game the Orioles eventually won 9-7. Stone (12-3) has won 10 straight. Milwaukee's Reggie Cleveland got his third straight win since leaving the bullpen, 5-2 over California, but the Brewers (4-3) couldn't keep pace with New York because Manager George Bamberger mishandled his pitching. When Bamberger removed starter Lary Sorensen after nine strong innings against Oakland, reliever Bob McClure lost 5-3 in the 10th. "I threw better in the ninth than I had all night," Sorensen complained. "I tried to talk George out of taking me out, but I couldn't." The next night Bamberger left Mike Caldwell in, and Caldwell surrendered six straight hits in the fifth inning to transform a 5-0 lead into a 6-5 deficit.
NY 51-26 MIL 43-33 DET 41-33 BALT 42-35 BOS 40-36 CLEV 36-39 TOR 33-42