"There's no drama to it," said Dennis Leonard of Kansas City (5-2) about the team's whopping 19-game lead. With the drama gone, the Royals continued to pad their personal stats. Leonard's two wins made him 16-8. Willie Wilson's four steals brought him to 56. Nine RBIs by Hal McRae gave him a total of 66, and his .393 week put him over .300. at .313, to be precise. George Brett supplied his own special drama, batting .484 to hang in there in the .400 chase at .406. As usual, Brett pummeled Ed Figueroa of Texas, a double and homer bringing his six-year average against Figgy to .628.
When the Rangers (5-2) went to Toronto, customs officers said there were drugs in Ferguson Jenkins' suitcase; they charged him with possession of marijuana, cocaine and hashish. His trial was set for Dec. 18. Charlie Hough, normally a reliever, didn't know he would start against the Blue Jays until he got to the park and then he hurled the first shutout of his 11-year career, winning 8-0. Dave Rajsich was another reliever who went a long way. After Jenkins was bombed for five first-inning runs in Kansas City, Rajsich went the last 8? innings and won 10-6. Texas beat the Royals 7-5 when Mickey Rivers got the last of his nine RBIs for the week with a single in the 11th. The team's main run producer all season. Al Oliver, had a two-run double that night to become the first in either league to reach 100 RBIs.
All the other Western teams had losing records, and Chicago (1-4) had the worst. Lamar Johnson drove in all the runs in the only Sox victory, a 3-2, 14-inning win over Detroit.
Crowds of 49.300 and 32.146 increased attendance in Oakland (2-4) to 757,611, almost 500,000 more than for all of last year. Mike Norris (18-7) beat the Yankees 9-1 in one of those games and cut his ERA to 2.21. Rick Langford stopped New York 3-1.
Johnny Goryl replaced Gene Mauch as manager at Minnesota (3-4). Dave Edwards singled in the go-ahead run in the 15th as the Twins downed the Blue Jays 7-5, and then Geoff Zahn beat the Jays 5-2.
California and Seattle (both 2-4) ganged up on Baltimore. The Angels defeated the Orioles 5-0 behind Freddie Martinez and 12-6 as Rick Miller had four RBIs. A six-run first propelled the Mariners past the Birds 10-5, and Floyd Bannister won 2-1 the next night, thanks to Bruce Bochte's ninth-inning homer.
KC 84-46 OAK 65-65 TEX 64-65 MINN 57-74 CHI 53-72 CAL 51-76 SEA 46-82
"There's nothing like being in a pennant race." said Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox (6-0), who climbed to within 7� games of first. And there's nothing like clutch hits and tidy relief work to get a team there. Jim Rice settled a pair of extra-inning games. After his two-run double in the 11th defeated California 4-2. Rice's homer ignited a four-run last of the ninth against Oakland. Glenn Hoffman concluded that rally with a two-run triple, and Rice won the game 7-6 with another homer in the 10th. The bullpen excelled: Bill Campbell won twice and gave up only one run in seven innings; Bob Stanley, who yielded one hit in 4? innings, got a win and two saves; and Tom Burgmeier allowed one run in 4? innings while picking up a win and his 19th save. But Fred Lynn was lost for at least 10 days because of a broken right big toe, and Yaz, who hit three homers, partially fractured a rib when he crashed into the leftfield wall while making a spectacular catch.