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Pssst. Don't tell anyone—especially not the Royals—but Rich Gale's missing fastball has been found. It was seen blurring its way past flailing Cincinnati batters as Gale pitched the Giants (3-2) to a three-hit, 6-1 victory. Gale, a 14-game winner as a Kansas City rookie in 1978, struck out seven and then agreed with the Reds' Clint Hurdle, his former K.C. teammate, that his fastball had as much zip as ever. Joe Morgan, 38, and Reggie Smith, 37, aren't as frisky as they used to be, but they had enough pep to knock off the Padres 3-2, Morgan stealing two bases and Smith driving in a pair of runs. Smith then connected for his first four-bagger of the season, a two-run drive off Tom Seaver, as San Francisco defeated Cincinnati 4-2.
"Beat me, but don't embarrass me," said Dusty Baker of Los Angeles following a 4-3 setback in San Diego (5-1). Baker was irked that the Padres cavorted at home plate, following their fourth win in their last five games with L.A. "They were giving high fives, low fives, kicking each other in the rear," Baker said. "I would understand it if they were going for a pennant, but this is the second week of the season." San Diego Catcher Terry Kennedy had a simple explanation. "We're not trying to show anybody up," he said. "We're just happy because we're one game over .500. That doesn't happen here very often." The San Diego fans' slogan this season is "Get Mad WITH the Padres," a spinoff from new Manager Dick Williams' attempt to get his players so riled up about their doormat image that they'll wipe their feet on other teams for a change. Juan Eichelberger, with relief assistance from Gary Lucas, defeated Fernando Valenzuela and the Dodgers 2-0, John Curtis beat Los Angeles 8-3, and then Eric Show came out of the bullpen to work four innings of scoreless relief during a 4-3 defeat of L.A. before a home crowd of 47,117. Lucas followed Show to the mound and picked up his third save of the week. The Padres were at it again on Sunday, overcoming a 3-2 deficit in the eighth inning by scoring seven runs and thereby completing a four-game sweep of the world champion Dodgers, 9-3.
After losing to the Padres, Valenzuela found he had lost something else—personal valuables that had been taken from the safe-deposit trunk in the locker room. Further examination revealed that Valenzuela's semi-weekly paycheck of some $20,000 wasn't gone, having been snagged on the lid of Fernando's hideaway. The costliest loss of all for the Dodgers (1-6) was the disappearance of their offense, which produced only 11 runs during six defeats.
Two Dodger setbacks were by 2-1 scores to the Astros (2-4), the first coming when Phil Garner singled across the decisive run in the bottom of the 11th and the other when Don Sutton and Joe Sambito combined on a five-hitter. Nolan Ryan, whose 1.69 ERA was the best of any starter in the majors last season, was cuffed by the Braves for five runs in 5⅔ innings during a 5-3 loss that left him with an 0-3 record and a 7.90 ERA.
Cincinnati (1-5) pitchers needed a map to find home plate; in 53 innings they allowed 35 bases on balls. Eight walks in 6⅔ innings, however, didn't prevent Bruce Berenyi from beating the Giants 8-2 and breaking a six-game losing streak for the Reds, who were mired in the basement. Three of those losses came against front-running Atlanta (page 14).
ATL 11-0 SD 6-4 SF 5-5 LA 4-7 HOUS 4-8 CIN 3-8
By putting the past behind them, the Cardinals (7-0) left nobody in front of them as they moved into first place. Last season the Cardinals voted not to cut Andy Rincon in on the team's playoff money because they felt that his absence during the Cards' vain stretch drive was his own fault, that he hadn't taken care of himself after being injured. Rincon was clearly ready last week when he held Chicago to three singles while winning 3-1. Pitcher Steve Mura, whose 14 defeats with the Padres tied him for the most losses in the majors in 1981, beat the Cubs 6-1. Ozzie Smith, also late of San Diego, hit his first home run since 1978 to help Joaquin Andujar defeat Chicago 4-3. St. Louis also won 6-0 against Steve Carlton, who had been 30-9 against his former team since being traded to Philadelphia in 1972. Even though Carlton has the best pickoff move in the game, the Cardinals stole four bases in the first inning. One of those steals was by former Phillie Lonnie Smith, who already has 10. St. Louis also got two hits from Andujar, who was 0 for 23 last year. Lonnie Smith had four more hits on Sunday as the Cardinals made it three in a row over the last-place Phillies by defeating them 6-5 in 11 innings. The biggest hits in that contest, though, were delivered by David Green, who knotted the score at 5-5 when he singled in the bottom of the ninth and then ended the game with another run-producing single in the 11th inning.
Philadelphia (1-5) and Carlton had other troubles. Two-time MVP Mike Schmidt went on the disabled list with a cracked rib, and Carlton was beaten by Randy Jones of New York (3-4) for the second time this year, 5-3. The Mets' new $4 million scoreboard-TV screen lit up when Dave Kingman walloped the three-run homer that sank Carlton.