Fortified by a pregame wad of snuff and chewing tobacco and by cups of ginseng tea, Mark Fidrych of Detroit (4-3) earned his first wins, 8-0 over California and 5-1 over Oakland. Dave Rozema (6-2) beat Seattle 5-2 with the support of Jason Thompson's third homer of the week and 10th of the season.
After 10 games without a home run, the Blue Jays (4-1) went on a spree, hitting 10. Ron Fairly got two of them, batted .438 and raised his average to .322, seventh best in the league. The league's No. 2 hitter was Bob Bailor, who moved up to .346 with a .364 week.
Bucky Dent of New York (6-1) matched his previous high of five homers for an entire season by hitting four in four days, as did Reggie Jackson, who increased his total to 12. Both Dent (.370) and Jackson (.414) drove in eight runs, and Willie Randolph hit .381. Better yet for the Yanks, Catfish Hunter won for the first time since Opening Day. oft-injured Don Gullett beat Milwaukee 10-1 and Sparky Lyle registered his 11th, 12th and 13th saves.
June 19, 1977
Despite a 4.34 ERA for the season, Reliever Bill Castro of Milwaukee (2-5) has a fine record. In 2‚Öî innings last week he earned his seventh win and seventh save.
Also coming through in relief was Bill Campbell of Boston (4-1). Campbell was touched up for only one run in 10 innings as he saved three games. One of them was a 1-0 win in Kansas City for Luis Tiant. The Red Sox bombed the Orioles 14-5 with an 11-run second inning and 7-3 as Jim Rice slugged his 13th and 14th home runs.
After staggering home from a 4-8 road trip, the Orioles (3-4) got hot. Rudy May (8-5) downed Chicago 4-1, and Mike Flanagan further paled the White Sox 6-1 on five hits.
Cleveland (2-3) Manager Frank Robinson accused DH Rico Carty of second-guessing his moves and splitting the team along racial lines. He also fined Carty an estimated $1,000 and sent him back to Cleveland while the team was on the West Coast. Reliever Jim Kern saved both Indian wins.
NY 34-24 BOS 30-24 BALT 31-25 MIL 28-31 CLEV 24-27 DET 24-30 TOR 23-31
Papaya juice, a tip from an anonymous caller and a new manager were among the panaceas tried in the division. Rick Jones, 22, a 6'5" lefthander for Seattle (3-3), tried to improve his 0-4 record by drinking the papaya before facing Detroit. Although he gave up only one unearned run in 5‚Öî innings, Jones ran out of juice—papaya and otherwise—and Enrique Romo pitched hitless ball the rest of the way to get credit for a 2-1 win in which Lee Stanton homered. Home runs by Ruppert Jones helped John Montague beat Cleveland 6-1 and gave Mike Kekich a 3-2 victory over Detroit. Kekich's triumph came three days after his second marriage. "I've got a great wife, I'm with a great organization and my arm's still on my body," said Kekich, hoping his luck has changed. He was involved in the celebrated wife-swapping incident with Fritz Peterson in 1973 and survived a spate of near-fatal mishaps in 1976: a motorcycle wreck in February, a bee sting in November and a ruptured spleen in December.
Tom Grieve, who led the Rangers (3-2) with 20 homers last year but who was hitting .152 as the week began and had not homered since April 11, took some advice from a man who phoned him. "He told me to swing for Texas League singles," said Grieve, who got the message, eased up on his swing, homered twice and hit .389.
Owner Charlie Finley's firing of Jack McKeon and hiring of Bobby Winkles as his 15th manager in 18 seasons did not help Oakland (1-4). Winkles lost twice, the A's making five errors in a 6-4 loss to Detroit.
Fifth-place Kansas City (4-3) gained two games on first-place Minnesota (page 22) as Andy Hassler won twice, 4-3 over Baltimore and 7-2 over the Twins. Dennis Leonard baffled the Brewers 6-0 on three hits, and Joe Zdeb's single gave the Royals a 5-4 win over the Red Sox. It was Zdeb's third game-deciding hit in the last four K.C. victories.
Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan of California (3-3) were superb. By stopping Detroit 5-1 and making Cleveland his fifth shutout victim, 1-0, Tanana became the majors' first 10-game winner. Bobby Bonds' 13th homer settled the latter game. Another home run, this one by Bobby Grich in the 13th, gave the Angels a 2-1 decision over the Blue Jays. Ryan pitched 10 innings that day, striking out 19, and then was replaced because he had thrown 171 pitches.
Oscar Gamble's three-run homer in the 12th carried Chicago (2-5) past Minnesota 9-5. And an 11th-inning pinch single by Wayne Nordhagen beat Texas 4-3.
MINN 33-24 CHI 30-25 TEX 26-25 CAL 27-27 KC 27-28 OAK 26-29 SEA 24-37
All the Chicago Cubs could probably appear in uniform on What's My Line? and stump the panel. Bruce Sutter, Rick Reuschel and Ray Burris are hardly familiar faces or names. And Ivan DeJesus, Manny Trillo, Jerry Morales, Willie Hernandez and Jose Cardenal are better known in Latin America than in the States. But lately in Chicago they have all attracted a lot of attention, helping the Cubs gain a solid hold on first place. Bobby Murcer, the team's "name" player, hit .391 for the week, and his lesser-known and younger teammates also contributed as the Cubs (5-2) moved four games ahead. Forkballer Sutter relieved four times, allowed only three hits in six innings and picked up his 16th and 17th saves and a win. His victory was achieved with the aid of Cardenal, a Cuban who had been playing so infrequently that former Cub Bill Madlock of the Giants needled him about his "retirement." Cardenal batted just once against the Giants, and they could not retire him as he dropped down a suicide squeeze in the 11th to bring home the game's only run. Although the Cubs were homerless, they got plenty of hits from DeJesus and Morales, a pair of Puerto Ricans who batted .375 and .360, respectively, and from Trillo, a Venezuelan whose average for the year dipped slightly to .360. Hernandez, a 21-year-old Puerto Rican, yielded just one run in 4‚Öî innings of relief as he became a 5-3 winner over San Francisco. Reuschel, a righthander from good old Quincy, Ill., won a pair of 3-1 decisions to go 8-2 on the season. And Burns (8-5) was a 10-4 winner over L.A.
Several St. Louis (4-3) players were also making names for themselves, four being among the league's top 10 in batting: Tony Scott (.331), Ted Simmons (.324), Garry Templeton (.321) and Keith Hernandez (.316). Scott, 25, drove in seven runs; Templeton, 21, scored eight times and hit .469; and Hernandez, 23, batted .357. In a 4-3 win over San Diego, Simmons, an oldtimer at 27, tied the score at 2-2 with an eighth-inning double, and Templeton retied it at 3-3 in the 10th. Then Hernandez drove in Templeton with the game-deciding run. On top of that, Jerry Mumphrey, 24, batted .409, and Roger Freed finished off the Dodgers 8-7 with a pinch single in the 12th.
Tony Perez returned to Cincinnati for the first time since being traded to Montreal (4-1), and the 71,448 fans who showed up for the two games cheered his every move. "It was nice," Perez said simply. In the second game he doubled, tripled and drove in four runs as Jackie Brown won his second game of the week. Earlier Brown stopped Atlanta 4-2 and came through with his first hit in six years. Even better than Brown was Steve Rogers (8-4). He beat the Braves 6-0 as he ran his scoreless-inning streak to 22 and cut his ERA to 1.77.
"People aren't afraid to turn up their music anymore," said Third Baseman Lenny Randle as he listened to the joyful sounds emanating from the Mets' clubhouse. New York (4-3) took a doubleheader from Philadelphia—6-5 in 10 innings as Tom Underwood threw a bases-jammed wild pitch and 3-2 as Dave Kingman homered for the first time in 21 games. Tom Seaver, who said, "I've spent six weeks wondering where my fastball was," found it against the Reds, striking out 10 batters for the 60th time in his career and winning 8-0 with a five-hitter.
Thirteen homers, including four by Mike Schmidt and three by Greg Luzinski, buoyed Philadelphia (5-3). "I've got a period coming when I'll be scalding hot," said Schmidt. Starting to boil, he drove in nine runs.
The only club in the East with a losing record was Pittsburgh (2-4), and both wins were struggles. It took three rain delays and more than six hours before the Bucs outlasted the Cubs 5-4. Rich Gossage, who said he almost fell asleep in the clubhouse during the downpours, pitched shutout ball over the last two innings to earn his ninth save. Gossage also outdueled San Diego's ace reliever, Rollie Fingers, for a 10-7 victory, allowing just one hit in four innings. But the Pirates were left to hope that League President Chub Feeney would not uphold Padre Manager Alvin Dark's protest of that game, one that arose when Pirate skipper Chuck Tanner inadvertently inserted Willie Stargell's name in both the fifth and seventh spots on his lineup card. It was Stargell who settled the game with a three-run homer in the 11th.
CHI 35-19 PITT 30-22 ST. L 32-24 PHIL 31-24 MONT 24-29 NY 23-33
Although his Dodgers (3-4) stumbled a bit, Manager Tom Lasorda was still joking. "I'm in a slump, too," he said. "I go to bed, and I'm hungry. I sit down at the table, and I get romantic." Charlie Hough preserved two of Los Angeles' wins with his 15th and 16th saves. Reggie Smith hit his 14th home run in a 4-2 win in Chicago, and Steve Garvey drove across four runs in a 9-8 victory in St. Louis.
"I'm out of the slump," said Phil Niekro of Atlanta (1-5) after silencing Philadelphia 3-0 on four singles and 13 strikeouts to bring his record to 4-8. Rookie Barry Bonnell batted the highest in the league for a player with 100 or more at bats (.368). Jeff Burroughs' 14th homer tied him with Ron Cey and Smith of the Dodgers for the league lead.
Enos Cabell of Houston (2-5) and Mike Ivie of San Diego (2-4) both hit .407, but could not get their teams moving. The Astros twice trimmed the Mets 4-1 behind the pitching of Joaquin Andujar (7-3) and J. R. Richard (5-5). Rollie Fingers of the Padres chalked up his 14th and 15th saves in a 9-5 victory over the Cardinals and a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. Dave Winfield homered in each game, raising his total to 13.
All five of the league's top home-run hitters are in the West. George Foster of Cincinnati (3-2) remained in that select group, hitting No. 12 as Jack Billingham beat New York 5-0 and No. 13 as Fred Norman breezed past Montreal 13-1. When Johnny Bench stepped to the plate and was told by Houston Catcher Joe Ferguson that J. R. Richard "can't get his fastball over," Bench knew what to do. "Naturally, I looked for the curve." he said. In came the curve from Richard. Out went a homer for Bench, who hit his 10th and 11th in that game as the Reds won 14-4.
Gary Lavelle of San Francisco (4-3) lowered his ERA to 0.60 as he struck out eight and did not permit a run in his first 7‚Öî innings last week. Along the way, Lavelle gained his seventh and eighth saves and fifth triumph.
LA 38-20 CIN 27-27 SD 27-34 SF 25-33 HOUS 24-34 ATL 21-38
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GREG LUZINSKI: Four doubles and three home runs were among the Bull's 14 hits in 33 at bats (.424). And he drove in 12 runs, three as the Phillies defeated the Astros 9-8 and seven more as they beat the Braves 13-10.