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THE WEEK (Aug. 23-29)
Herm Weiskopf
September 06, 1982
NL WEST
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September 06, 1982

The Week (aug. 23-29)

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The Rangers (2-6), who have indulged in assorted forms of Chiles' play (owner Eddie, that is) all season, got some big league pitching from big (6'8") Mike Smithson, 27, who once played basketball at Tennessee. In his first major league appearance, Smithson went the distance and showed lots of pop on his crackling fastball, which was clocked at more than 90 mph, but lost a 3-1 decision to the Orioles.

Another pitcher who had something on his pitches—or so umpire Dave Phillips felt—was Gaylord Perry of Seattle (2-4). Perry's troubles began, oddly enough, when a Bible verse popped into the mind of Boston's Re id Nichols: "No weapon formed-against you shall prosper." When Nichols batted in the fifth, he asked Phillips to check the ball thrown by Perry, who has been accused of prospering for years with the aid of a grease-ball. Phillips, who later claimed he saw a greased spot on the ball, issued a warning to Perry. Two innings later, after Perry threw a pitch to Rick Miller that dropped precipitously, Phillips didn't even glance at the ball; he simply ejected Perry. "It was a classic example of an illegal pitch," Phillips explained. League President Lee MacPhail levied a 10-day suspension and $250 fine against Perry, who forestalled the penalties by promptly appealing the ruling.

KC 76-54 CAL 74-56 CHI 66-62 SEA 61-68 OAK 58-73 TEX 50-78 MINN 47-82

AL EAST

Big innings may well have launched Baltimore's perennial late-season surge. Joe Nolan got the Orioles (6-1) started with a grand slam in the last of the 10th that jolted the Blue Jays 7-3 and made a winner of Dennis Martinez, who yielded only four hits. A six-run seventh and an eight-run third then defeated Toronto 8-3 and 12-5, respectively. In the latter game, Eddie Murray homered from each side of the plate for the fifth time in his career. In all, Murray had four homers and drove across 10 runs. After Jim Palmer won for his ninth straight by beating the Rangers 3-1, Martinez came back to stop Texas 8-3.

For Boston (5-2), it was Reliever Mark Clear who won twice. Reid Nichols' homer sank the Mariners 4-3 for Clear, and then Clear beat the Angels 7-6 when Carney Lansford singled in the 10th, stole second and third and scored on a bases-loaded, two-out bunt by Gary Allenson. Like Clear, Tom Burgmeier was staked to a 5-4 victory over Seattle by Nichols, who slammed two home runs and, for the second day in a row, gunned down a runner at the plate from leftfield. Burgmeier, who pitched 4⅔ innings of shutout relief in that contest, improved his season's record to 7-0. Another runless relief effort by Bob Stanley—6⅓ innings—took care of California 4-3.

Graig Nettles had three homers as the Yankees (4-3) turned on the power for a change, clearing the fences 10 times during their four wins—two over Toronto, two over Minnesota. On Sunday, Tommy John, backed by three round-trippers, coasted to an 8-2 triumph over the Blue Jays. Toronto (2-5), meanwhile, got the job done with singles: Willie Upshaw twice drove in the winning run for the Jays against the Yanks. After breaking a 3-3 tie with a two-run single in the fifth and starting Toronto on its way to a 10-3 romp one day, Upshaw blooped a single in the 11th to beat New York 3-2 the next.

Gorman Thomas, who leads the majors in home runs with 34 and is fifth with 94 RBIs, hit two dingers and drove in six runs as first-place Milwaukee (4-2) drubbed Oakland 10-3. Three more homers by the hard-hitting Brewers enabled Pete Vuckovich (15-4) to stop the Angels 7-3.

Glenn Wilson's .400 hitting and a 5-1 win over Oakland by Dan Petry (14-7) were all that could comfort Detroit (3-3). Not even an apology to his teammates could erase the words of Jack Morris, who had implied that the Tigers were a bunch of quitters. Tough to swallow, too, were both the three-hitter that Jerry Ujdur lost to the A's 3-0 and the wild pitch by Dave Tobik in the last of the ninth inning that gave the Mariners a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Len Barker of Cleveland (2-4) also lost despite tossing a three-hitter. Four walks in one inning led to his 5-1 loss to Chicago: Reliever Dan Spillner won for the 10th time, thanks to an eighth-inning double by Von Hayes that knocked off the White Sox 5-4. Since May 4, the Tribe has been 31-10 in games in which Spillner, who has a 2.52 ERA and 16 saves, has appeared.

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