"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart." Willie Aikens of the Royals (5-1) said he drew strength from those words in Psalm 34:18 during his 2-for-26 slump. Aikens broke out of the doldrums with three home runs. Dennis Leonard perked up, too. Winless for three weeks and 1-8 at home, Leonard beat California 5-3 in K.C. and won 4-0 in Oakland. Willie Wilson's single in the 12th gave the Royals a 6-5 Sunday victory over the A's and sole possession of first place.
Psalm 34 also says, "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger." That was true of the White Sox (2-5), some of whom aren't young but all of whom were hungry after Manager Tony LaRussa paid an attendant $100 to remove the postgame food from the clubhouse following a 3-1 loss in Minnesota. "It was expensive, but it was the only way to make my point," said LaRussa, who didn't explain exactly what his point was. Greg Luzinski, though, had a feast—at least at the expense of opposing pitchers—as he batted .448.
Troubles. Mike Norris of the A's (3-3) had them before facing the Rangers. First, a friend who was driving him to the park was involved in a minor accident. At Oakland Coliseum Norris, who didn't have any identification with him, had a hard time convincing the security officers to let him in. When he finally suited up, it was 15 minutes before game time. But that was the night Norris got his screwball back in working order, and he came out on top 2-1 for his 10th win. Steve McCatty also beat Texas, 3-0.
The Rangers (3-3) were two outs from a 4-3 loss to the A's when an error on a sure double-play grounder gave them a new life; they took advantage of that blunder to score six times for a 9-4 triumph. Texas, which had lost eight of its 10 previous games, then won its next two outings in California. Pat Putnam's four hits—two of them homers—and four RBIs abetted an 11-6 romp over California, and then Rick Honeycutt beat the Angels 3-2 for his 10th victory.
Minnesota (6-0) pitchers, who had a 3.99 ERA for the season, had a 1.83 ERA. Doug Corbett contributed eight shutout innings of relief and had four saves. Darrell Jackson struck out nine Blue Jays in 6? innings of a 4-0 win before giving way to Corbett. Rookie Brad Havens made it two in a row over Toronto, prevailing 1-0 when Glenn Adams and Rob Wilfong doubled in the ninth.
Tom Paciorek's .458 hitting and the pitching of rookies Larry Andersen and Bob Stoddard lifted Seattle (3-3) out of the cellar. Andersen got two saves, one as he locked up Stoddard's 3-1 triumph over the White Sox.
"This has been the most frustrating week of my career," complained California (1-5) Manager Gene Mauch. What made it a bummer was that the Angels fell into last place.
KC 18-15 OAK 15-16 MINN 16-18 TEX 14-17 CHI 13-20 SEA 13-20 CAL 12-19