Pittsburgh moved into first place with a four-game sweep of the Cards. Dock Ellis started the rout with a five-hit shutout and was followed by the Pirates' undefeated bullpen aces, Dave Giusti (7-0) and Bruce Dal Canton (4-0). They picked up the next three wins with tight relief pitching. Casey Stengel's upcoming 80th birthday drew 55,310 celebrants to Shea Stadium, but the Expos put a damper on the fun. They defeated NEW YORK for the seventh time this season and dropped the Mets from first. Ron Santo broke CHICAGO out of its 17-game slump by cracking three home runs and driving in 10 scores in a doubleheader sweep that started off the Cubs' best week since May. ST. LOUIS was streaking, too—downward. Bob Gibson's victory string was ended at 10, and the Cardinals' consecutive losses stood at seven, their longest plunge since 1966. Ninth-inning rallies gave PHILADELPHIA its only two victories. Deron Johnson hit a two-run homer and Rick Wise pitched a four-hit shutout and three days later Tony Taylor's triple drove in two runners to spark a seven-run last-inning outburst. MONTREAL Manager Gene Mauch has seen plenty of slumps, including the longest in modern baseball history when he led the Phillies to 23 consecutive losses in 1961, and now he has come up with a precise definition of that malady. "A slump is a temporary disorder, something like the common cold, only there are no pills to cure it," Mauch said. "You feel like you are dying when you are suffering through it and you wish you could." Mauch got that old feeling for a while again last week when the Expos were outscored 32-12 and lost four straight games.
PITT 50-39 NY 47-39 CHI 43-42 ST. L 39-47 PHIL 36-49 MONT 37-51
July 19, 1970
The Big Red Machine added two new gears last week. CINCINNATI Pitcher Jim Merritt, who had one home run in five previous seasons, and Shortstop Woody Woodward, who had none after 684 games in the majors, both teed off the same day. LOS ANGELES briefly gained half a game on the division leaders, a startling turn of events that prompted Manager Walt Alston to say, "I think they're tailing off." Orlando Cepeda homered four times in three games for ATLANTA. One of the homers was his 2,000th major league hit. Jim Ray Hart, the SAN FRANCISCO slugger who was sidelined by a shoulder injury last season, had a crashing return with the Giants after spending three months in the minors. In his second game, he hit for the cycle and drove in six runs in one inning. HOUSTON spent a long time going nowhere. Their seven home games last week averaged 3:01 to play, but the Astros would have been smarter to quit at about 2:45. In four of the games they allowed a total of 17 runs in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings and lost them. SAN DIEGO, which the night before had hit four home runs in the ninth inning and still did not win, finally defeated the Dodgers on Clarence Gaston's last-inning shot. It was the team's 99th home run of the year, equaling the total for all last season.
CIN 62-26 LA 51-35 ATL 42-44 SF 41-44 HOU 37-51 SD 36-54
Except for some unpersistent rain and nine very persistent Yankees, BALTIMORE might have made it three in a row over NEW YORK. The Orioles had won the first two games of the series, one on a 10th-inning grand slam by Brooks Robinson and the other on a ninth-inning single by Don Buford. In the final game of the series, the Orioles led 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning when the rain started falling. Umpire Hank Soar ordered the ground crew to roll out the tarp, but the Yankees refused to leave the field, obviously not wanting the game to end at that point. By the time Soar could set the rebels straight on who was boss, the rain subsided and the game continued, with the Yanks winning 7-5 on Jerry Kenney's third hit of the night. DETROIT'S second-line hitters put together a four-game win streak. Subs Elliott Maddox and Dalton Jones won two of them with last-inning homers, except that Jones, who should have had credit for a grand slam, ended up with a single when he passed another runner on his way to second base. Pinch hitter Gates Brown, .200 batter Don Wert and Pitcher Les Cain stroked the important hits in the Tigers' other victories. CLEVELAND'S Sam McDowell, who has pitched more than one-third of his team's victories, added his 13th, beating BOSTON 3-1 even though he allowed 10 hits. WASHINGTON hit 12 home runs, but took its only wins on strong pitching by Casey Cox (a four-hitter), Dick Bosman (a five-hitter) and Jim Hannan.
BALT 54-33 DET 47-38 NY 46-39 BOS 44-41 WASH 40-48 CLEV 38-48
Minnesota cooled off the only remaining contenders in the West, CALIFORNIA and OAK-LAND, by winning five of seven games against them. In every game, the Twins' strong bullpen of Tom Hall, Ron Perranoski and Stan Williams appeared without allowing a run. They were awarded the decision or a save in each of the Twins' victories. The only starter to win twice during the week, Bill Zepp, ran his season's record to 5-0 and promptly asked to be shipped out to Toledo. After the transfer was arranged, Zepp, a 23-year-old righty, explained he had to be near his home in Detroit to take care of personal problems. "I hope to be back," he said sadly. Things have begun to break well for KANSAS CITY, which has played close to .500 since Jim Lemon took over the team from Charlie Metro on June 9. As the Royals put together their second three-game winning burst in two weeks, their young pitchers sharpened up. Jim Rooker, a non-winner for almost a month, and Bill Butler, who had not had a victory since mid-April, tossed back-to-back shutouts. MILWAUKEE won five of eight games, enough to pull the Brewers past CHICAGO and out of the cellar. The White Sox were swept in two doubleheaders (they have lost nine and split one for the year) and things were getting so touchy that Manager Don Gutteridge fined Syd O'Brien and Ed Herrmann $100 apiece for missing curfew by five minutes.
MINN 54-28 CAL 51-35 OAK 47-40 KC 33-52 MIL 32-57 CHI 31-58