For their part, the Mariners (1-6) could do no right. Traditionally, a team—any team—wins for a new manager, any manager. Not the Mariners. After Maury Wills took over, they lost nine of 11, dropping three straight to California and two to Oakland last week. They are last in the league in attendance. Even their promotions fail. They planned to welcome Oakland Manager Billy Martin with a marshmallow drop from the top of the Kingdome, but League President Lee MacPhail vetoed the idea. So they dropped a rubber chicken.
The A's (5-2) continued to amaze. They led the league in ERA with 3.41. The pitching staff has 68 complete games, only four short of the postexpansion league record, and eight of those have been extra-inning games. Mike Norris, Matt Keough and Rick Langford have all gone 14 innings and won. Last week Langford pitched a club-record 17th consecutive complete game—an 11-3 win over Seattle. On Sunday, starter Steve McCatty got his chance to go 14 against Seattle. He gave up only two runs on six hits, but the second run was a homer by Dan Meyer that beat him 2-1.
The Rangers (3-3) spent much of last week griping, as usual. After they lost three straight to the Indians, Manager Pat Corrales told them, "Quit pointing fingers, and start looking in the mirror. You got your tails kicked here, so let's go to Detroit and do better." They did, beating the Tigers 6-2 and 12-5.
Frank Tanana of California (4-1) had to do his own kicking. After a poor start following a '79 season in which his pitching arm was injured, Tanana "kicked myself to get going." He has now won four straight, pitching 7? scoreless innings on Friday to beat Minnesota 5-4. With Tanana healthy and Jason Thompson continuing his hot hitting (he's batted .333 since coming to California from Detroit in May), the Angels have won four straight and nine out of 10. Their only loss last week was to Minnesota.
The Twins (2-3) had dropped nine straight and their bats had gone sour. "From awesome to gentle," said Manager Gene Mauch. They had scored two runs or fewer in eight of Jerry Koosman's nine losses, but three homers gave him his 10th win, over California. After winning again the next night, over Oakland, the Twins had a relapse and lost their next three.
Aside from a 4-1 defeat of the Yankees, White Sox (1-4) fans had little to cheer about except the prospect that the team might be sold to Merrill Lynch (see SCORECARD).
KC 74-42 OAK 62-56 TEX 55-59 MINN 49-66 CAL 48-65 CHI 48-65 SEA 41-75