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When the Mariners (1-5) returned home from Minnesota at the start of the week, they discovered that their baggage had been routed to Alaska. The gear was found, but Seattle lost its winning touch and fell from first to third. Bullpens made the difference: The Mariner relief corps gave up 14 earned runs in 25? innings, while opposing relievers yielded only one earned run in 30? innings.
Minnesota's troubles were more deep-rooted. The Twins (1-5), who have the worst record in either league, again were stung by the words of owner Calvin Griffith, who 1) labeled the entire team "scabs," for some unknown reason; 2) said Third Baseman John Castino "has let us down so much it's unbelievable"; and 3) angered injured switch hitter Roy Smalley by saying, "I hear he played golf righthanded during the strike. Why can't he bat righthanded?" Ron Jackson was the Twins' RBI leader, but Griffith, who was irate when the outfielder-first baseman won a $200,000 salary-arbitration dispute last winter, peddled him to Detroit for a player to be named later.
CHI 8-5 OAK 7-5 SEA 7-7 KC 6-8 CAL 5-7 TEX 5-7 MINN 4-10
The Orioles (3-3) continued to get the daylights knocked out of them. A 2-0 loss to the A's wasn't a humiliation, but it left Baltimore 8-15 in games played in daylight. And Mike Flanagan encountered his usual misfortune in Anaheim. Last week, with the score 1-1 and two out in the bottom of the fourth, Oriole outfielders John Lowenstein and Al Bumbry pursued a fly ball. Sensing a collision, both backed off and the ball dropped for a triple, touching off a four-run uprising and a 6-3 loss to the Angels. Two nights later, Lowenstein and Bumbry each had two hits as Jim Palmer beat Oakland 4-2. Detroit (page 26) took over the division lead by winning all six of its games. Rollie Fingers kept Milwaukee (3-3) alive as he saved a 3-1 victory in Texas, beat Minnesota 4-3 and then preserved Sunday's 8-5 win over the Twins.
Boston (4-2) got spotless relief pitching from Mark Clear and Bob Stanley. Clear twice pitched two hitless innings, saving a 6-4 triumph in Oakland and a 5-3 win in Seattle. Stanley tossed 62? innings of scoreless ball against the Mariners and won 7-4 when Joe Rudi and Jim Rice slammed two-run homers in the ninth. Rice gladly agreed to Manager Ralph Houk's suggestion that he relinquish his cleanup role and return to the No. 3 spot in the lineup. "At No. 4 they were pitching around me," Rice said. In his first five games after the shift, Rice had 11 hits in 22 at bats.
The Blue Jays (3-3) hadn't beaten the Royals in more than a year, but did so twice in two days. The slumping Danny Ainge had three hits and Barry Bonnell broke an 0-for-23 streak with two RBI singles in a 5-3 Toronto win; then Lloyd Moseby had six RBIs in a 9-4 Toronto romp. Moseby later gave Toronto a 5-4 win over Chicago with a two-out homer in the last of the ninth.
Mike Stanton of the Indians (3-3) permitted only one hit in 5? innings of relief in Seattle and won 6-5. The Tribe tied that game with a three-run ninth and won it on Alan Bannister's hit in the 14th.
"We've got the highest-paid team in baseball and we're not getting our money's worth," said owner George Steinbrenner as he canceled a scheduled Yankee (3-3) off day. Maybe so, George, but Jerry Mumphrey earned his bread by batting .462. So did pitchers Ron Guidry, Rick Reuschel and George Frazier. During a 4-0 win over Chicago, Guidry fanned seven in six innings and Frazier struck out five in the final three. Reuschel won his first game as a New Yorker by stifling the Royals 5-0, Frazier providing him with 2? innings of solid relief. On Sunday, Guidry fanned seven in seven innings during an 8-0 romp over K.C.
DET 10-3 MIL 9-6 TOR 7-6 BALT 7-6 BOS 7-6 NY 6-7 CLEV 5-10