Centerfielder Ruppert Jones of the Yankees (4-2) was also injured when he crashed into a fence in Oakland, but his prognosis was much worse: a severe concussion and separated shoulder probably will keep him out the rest of the year. Lou Piniella's .500 batting and five doubles put some much-needed oomph into the attack.
Baltimore (2-4) fell 2� games behind New York. Except for a 13-8 triumph over the Angels, in which the Orioles set one club record with 26 hits and tied another with eight doubles, the offense floated like a bee and stung like a butterfly. Except for Mike Flanagan's 3-0 win in Oakland, the pitching was shoddy. Two starters failed to last an inning, and Reliever Tim Stoddard, who hadn't given up a home run in 75? innings dating back to June 1979, yielded two in the same inning.
A series of scoreless relief efforts enabled the Tigers and Indians (both 4-2) to move up to a tie for fourth. Six innings of two-hit relief by Aurelio Lopez of Detroit made him a 5-4 victor over Chicago, and Paul Underwood's three-inning stint preserved an 11-7 win over Milwaukee. Righthander Victor Cruz and lefthander Sid Monge threw zeros for Cleveland. Cruz locked up three wins with 5? innings of runless ball, giving him nine saves and a 1.50 ERA since the All-Star break. Monge, who is 2.31 with six saves over that period, worked 3? shutout innings and, like Cruz, preserved a victory for Dan Spillner. Len Barker's eight Strikeouts during a 4-1 defeat of Minnesota left him with a league-leading 139 Ks and a 16-8 record. Miguel Dilone topped off his .423 hitting with a two-run double in the eighth that beat Chicago 6-5.
Six straight losses dropped Milwaukee (1-6) from third all the way to sixth. In one game, the Brewers stranded 18 runners, two short of the league mark. However, two homers by Cecil Cooper carried Moose Haas (15-11) past Detroit 6-4.
When Roy Howell homered in the ninth and Steve Braun added a pinch RBI single to defeat the Twins 3-2, the Blue Jays (3-4) had their 53rd victory. That's not sensational, but it equaled their 1979 total.
NY 78-50 BALT 75-52 BOS 69-56 DET 67-60 CLEV 67-60 MIL 68-64 TOR 53-75
Montreal, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were bunched together at the top. The Expos (2-3), who led the Pirates by one percentage point and the Phillies by half a game, hit nary a homer. But Warren Cromartie's pinch single produced the decisive run in a 12-9 victory over the Padres, who had led 9-2 in the sixth. Steve Rogers stopped San Francisco 3-1 for his first triumph in nearly six weeks. Montreal's 5-4 and 4-3 defeats in L.A. made it nine losses in a row to the Dodgers, six by one run. Nevertheless, the Expos moved into first at the end of a three-day stretch during which they didn't score: they had a 1-0 loss to the Giants between two days off. A six-game losing streak by the Pirates (1-6) made it possible for the Expos to go ahead. Only a five-hit, 5-2 victory in Cincinnati by John Candelaria averted an all-losing week. Last season the Pirates had a knack for winning late, but this year they have been outscored 161-117 in the final three innings.
Tug McGraw of the Phillies (4-3) atoned for a costly gaffe against the Dodgers—he allowed a hit while attempting an intentional walk—with his 14th and 15th saves. McGraw sealed a 4-3 triumph over Los Angeles with a runless ninth that made Steve Carlton the league's first 20-game winner. Two days later, McGraw gave up just one hit in 2? innings to clinch a 3-2 decision in San Diego. Doubles are Pete Rose's specialty, and three of them gave him 36, tops in the league.
It took a seven-run sixth for the Mets (1-4) to salvage their lone win, 9-5 over the Giants. Dane Iorg and Ken Oberkfell provided unexpectedly hard hitting for the Cardinals (4-3), both batting .500. The seldom-used Iorg also had nine RBIs, seven as Atlanta went down 11-2. Additional surprises came from John Martin and Don Hood. Martin made his big-league debut with seven innings of one-run relief to become a 10-2 winner over Houston. Hood doubled his victory total by stopping the Astros 3-1 and the Braves 5-3. But the most unexpected event was Red Schoendienst taking over as the Cardinals' interim manager for Whitey Herzog, who had a 38-35 record before becoming general manager.