By defeating Chicago 6-4 and 5-4, New York (2-5) avoided dropping into the cellar. Outfielder Ellis Valentine's .500 spree put some life into the Met attack. Before that, the Cubs (5-3) extended their winning streak to six games—their longest in nearly three years—as Leon Durham hit .400, Bill Buckner .371 and Steve Henderson .357. Henderson, who had been riding the bench for six weeks before this, went 7 for 17 against his former Met teammates, also slugging his first two home runs of the season. All three Chicago wins in New York were credited to Reliever Mike Proly.
ST.L 67-50 PHIL 66-51 MONT 61-55 PITT 60-57 NY 50-66 CHI 51-69
After he had tied a team record by walking eight men in one game, Pete Vuckovich of Milwaukee (5-3) reportedly said, "They weren't biting. It's better that way than getting the ball up where they can see the whole sphere when they're attempting to reach out with the wood tool for the purpose of reversing the sphere into certain areas between the white lines, where men aren't standing with gloves on." That sort of explained Vuckovich's 3-1 triumph over the Rangers, 12 of whom he stranded on base. Gorman Thomas walloped five homers to increase his total to 32, tops in the majors. The dingers helped the Brewers move 4½ games ahead of the Red Sox.
Even with Jim Rice batting .350, Boston (2-4) hit only .257. Manager Ralph Houk had bad news for Wade Boggs: Although the rookie was hitting .354, he would pinch-hit rather than play third (where Houk put Carney Lansford) or at first (where he put Dave Stapleton).
Toronto (5-3) swept Boston 4-2, 4-0 and 4-3. Dave Stieb, who shut out the Bosox on two hits, improved his record to 13-11 when Anthony Johnson's two-run triple in the ninth beat the Brewers 4-2. Along the way, the Blue Jays tied a team mark with their second six-game winning streak in four weeks.
Mike Flanagan of Baltimore (1-5) gave up hits to the first five Boston batters he faced, and was out of what became a 5-2 loss. In 21 innings against the Red Sox this year, Flanagan has been peppered for 25 hits and 15 runs. Lary Sorensen of Cleveland (1-5) continued to be hammered by Kansas City: In nine innings he has been tagged for 28 hits and 18 runs. Other Indian pitchers did little better: K.C. batters hit .336 against the Tribe while taking 10 of 12 games this season.
Lou Whitaker of Detroit (3-3), a .263 hitter during his first five seasons in the majors, has been on a .375 tear since becoming the leadoff man in early July. Whitaker hit .393 last week and, what's more surprising for someone who never before had more than five homers and 58 RBIs in a season, he twice hit two home runs in a game and had nine RBIs. Whitaker, who weighs only 155 pounds, even homered into the upper deck in right center at Tiger Stadium. All of which left him with a .302 average, 11 homers and 52 RBIs for the year.
New York (2-5) climbed out of a 7-0 hole in Detroit to win 9-7 with a three-homer barrage. Two more home runs and Goose Gossage's 23rd save beat Chicago 4-3.
MIL 68-48 BOS 63-52 BALT 60-54 DET 58-57 NY 56-58 CLEV 55-58 TOR 57-61