A couple "waiters"—Tommy Boggs and Bob Watson—served up wins that helped the Braves (4-3) establish a 1�-game lead. Boggs, who had waited since April 20 for a start in the majors, having been dispatched to the minors because of arm trouble, went six strong innings against Philadelphia. After Boggs had held the Phillies to only three singles. Gene Garber went the final three innings to wrap up a 3-0 victory. Garber got his 27th save the next day by pitching the last two innings in relief of Rick Camp during a 4-0 shutout of the Phils. Steve Bedrosian also excelled in relief as he hurled 7? scoreless innings while saving a 4-3 triumph in Montreal and winning 11-9 in Philly. It was in the latter contest that Watson, who had taken batting practice at 4:45 p.m., ended almost eight hours of waiting before batting again. When Watson finally took a cut, it was in the 12th inning of the nightcap of a doubleheader and 12:35 a.m. Although he might have been more ready for a snooze than a swing, Watson slugged a three-run pinch homer to provide Atlanta with its margin of victory.
Like Boggs and Watson, Burt Hooton of Los Angeles (2-4) endured a long wait. Hooton, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on June 21, won for the first time in more than four months when he defeated St. Louis 2-1 with relief help from Steve Howe. Home attendance passed three million on Sunday, putting the Dodgers on target to surpass their own major league record of 3,347,845, set in 1978.
For the first time since June 1976, the Padres (4-2) had three consecutive complete-game victories. Juan Eichelberger began the string by beating Pittsburgh 4-1. The next two triumphs were against Chicago, Eric Show winning 3-0 with a five-hitter and Tim Lollar adding a 4-1 three-hitter. San Diego pitchers were so effective they held opponents to .202 hitting for the week. Dave Dravecky gave up only one run and five hits in 11 innings, but wasn't around when Joe Lefebvre walloped a home run in the 13th to beat Pittsburgh 2-1.
An even more dramatic home run was the one by Jack Clark of the Giants (4-1), who slammed his with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Cardinals 5-4. That was the second night in a row that San Francisco hung a loss on Reliever Bruce Sutter. The evening before, the Giants had won 3-2 in the 10th inning when Chili Davis tripled and Darrell Evans brought him home by hitting a sacrifice fly.
Nolan Ryan of Houston (2-4), whose fastball was clocked at as high as 94 mph, came within five outs of his sixth no-hitter. After New York's Ron Hodges singled in the bottom of the eighth, Ryan went on to finish a two-hit, 4-0 victory.
"He's a godsend," said Frank Pastore of the Reds (2-4) about rookie Brad Lesley. It was Lesley who pitched the last inning of Pastore's 1-0 shutout of the Mets. That stretched Lesley's string of innings without giving up an earned run to 19 and lowered his ERA to a dazzling 0.74.
ATL 76-60 LA 75-62 SD 71-66 SF 69-67 HOUS 63-73 CIN 52-84
Zip. Whoosh. Swish. Zing. Whiz. That was Lonnie Smith of St. Louis (2-4) on his way to tying a league record by stealing five bases in one game, a 5-4 loss to San Francisco. Smith batted .435 for the week and had six steals, giving him 62. But the burst of speed that meant the most came when Smith chased down a ball hit by Dave (brother of Steve) Sax of the Dodgers. Smith's catch with two on in the 13th sealed a 6-5 Cardinal victory. The save went to Jim Kaat, 43, who had earlier won a battle of Methuselahs by retiring pinch-swinger Manny Mota, 44, an L.A. coach who was activated when rosters expanded to 40 players on Sept. 1. One of the key hits for St. Louis that night came when newcomer Kelly Paris singled off Ricky Wright, who's from Paris, Texas.