"I'm like a kid in a candy store," said a jubilant Vida Blue after his one-hitter took care of Seattle 8-0 for Kansas City (3-4). Others found how sweet it was to help the Royals' cause: Steve Hammond singled in the 11th to beat the Mariners 5-4; Bill Castro, in his first major league start since 1975, defeated Seattle 5-2; and Hal McRae increased his RBI total to 123, the most ever for a designated hitter.
Minnesota (6-1), which had its finest week of the season, beat K.C. 5-4, 11-5 and 9-4. Against the Royals the Twins hit a total of seven homers, Ron Davis got his 20th save, and Jack O'Connor went the route in the 9-4 win. O'Connor had earlier beaten Texas 3-2.
Seattle (3-4) defeated Kansas City 4-2 as Floyd Bannister, Ed Vande Berg and Mike Stanton teamed up for a three-hitter and Joe Simpson hit a two-run triple in the ninth. In a 6-0 win over Texas, Bob Stoddard tied a team mark by allowing only two hits.
Fred Lynn stroked two game-winning hits for California (4-3): a pinch single in the seventh that beat Chicago 6-4 and a two-run single in the ninth that defeated Toronto 8-6. Those hits helped the Angels move into a deadlock for first with the Royals.
Chicago (3-4) kept its flickering hopes aglow when Jerry Koosman beat California 8-3. But Tony Bernazard was sidelined with a fractured left fibula, Mike Squires with a pulled hamstring, Britt Burns with a sore shoulder and Rudy Law with a bruised right ankle. Rich Dotson was healthy, but Oakland halted his victory streak at eight with a 2-1 win.
Charlie Hough of Texas (2-5) beat Minnesota 8-2 for his 15th triumph. Oakland (2-4) Manager Billy Martin's departure—with permission from owner Roy Eisenhardt—during a 12-11 loss in Toronto irked more than a few A's. What prompted Martin to leave the premises was probably his players' ineptitude—nine errors last week. One player threatened to order room service and send the bill to Martin because, according to the player, Martin had knocked over a tableful of postgame chow in the clubhouse.
KC 84-65 CAL 84-65 CHI 79-69 SEA 70-78 OAK 62-87 TEX 59-90 MINN 56-93
As they have so often done, the Yankees (0-8) turned on the power in the stretch. New York hit 11 home runs, including four by Dave Winfield. That gave Winfield 13 in 21 games and 36 in all. During four games in three days in Baltimore, the Yankees slammed nine homers, Roy Smalley twice hitting two in one game. With such prodigious slugging, New York led 6-3 in the sixth inning of the first game, 4-0 in the fifth of the second game, 2-0 in the sixth of the third game and 5-2 in the sixth of the fourth game. Over the remainder of these games, though, the Orioles (7-1) out-scored the Yankees 21-2 to win all four of them. The scores were 8-7, 5-4, 5-3 and 8-5, respectively. Eight RBIs by Cal Ripken—coupled with six New York errors—during the five-game series with the Yankees helped keep the unflappable Birds flapping. And their bullpen was superb: Rookies Mike Boddicker and Don Welchel were winners; newcomer John Flinn, pitching in the majors for only the second time in two years, struck out seven in six scoreless innings en route to winning the second game; and Tippy Martinez had three saves. The O's won the fifth game of that series 3-1 behind the six-hit pitching of Jim Palmer (14-4). Rich Dauer's two-run homer in the 10th on Sunday made Mike Flanagan a 4-2 victor over Cleveland.