1976 May

2nd  Jose Cardenal goes 6-for-7, including a double and a HR, driving in 4 runs, as the Cubs edge the Giants 6–5 in the 14-inning first game of a doubleheader.

4th  At Wrigley, Rick Monday is honored before the Tuesday game, and he receives a copy of the proclamation and the flag he had rescued.  Dodger VP and GM Al Campanis had to make special arrangements to get the flag out of the LAPD evidence room in time to present it to Rick. There are less than 5000 on hand as the Cubs lost to the Dodgers, 9–6. Rick has one hit and an RBI driving in the Davey Rosello.

5th  The wind is blowing out at Wrigley as the Dodgers crank out a team-record 7 HRs to outslug the Cubs 14–12. Henry Cruz hits a pair for LA, while Rick Monday has two homers and 6 RBIs for Chicago. Bill Madlock has 4 hits, including 3 doubles, and Steve Swisher has 4 hits.

In a 6-3 win over the Astros, the Phillies do all their scoring in the 6th inning.  Bobby Tolan hits a grand slam and Ollie Brown adds a pinch 2-run homer.

7th At Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium, in a PCL game between the Tacoma Twins and Hawaii, Twins P Bill Butler ignores the stadium ban against metal cleats and begins warming up. Stadium officials then turn the outfield lights off, and after 30 minutes of darkness, umpire Bill Lawson forfeits the game to Tacoma.  PCL President Roy Jackson supports the umpire, but a few weeks later, Minor League head Bobby Bragan overrules Jackson and orders the game replayed.

8th  In a cold day at Wrigley, the Reds warm up with a 14–4 drubbing of the Cubs.

9th  The Reds score another 14 runs to beat the Cubs, 14–2. Ken Griffey hits a grand slam, one of 6 homers hit by the Reds.  Tony Perez has a pair with Foster, Driessen, and Rose leaving the park as well.

In a 6-5 Texas win over Boston, John Ellis has a homer and single, but then makes a nasty slide into 2B resulting in a season-ending injury trifecta. He sustains a broken leg, dislocated ankle and torn ligaments.

In a 4–2 win over the Tigers, White Sox P Wilbur Wood suffers a fractured kneecap when he is hit by a line drive off the bat of Ron LeFlore. Wood will miss the rest of the season and his effectiveness will diminish in the remaining 2+ seasons.

11th Dave Winfield belts his second grand slam of the year, in the 1st inning, and Randy Jones (8-2) makes it stand up in a 4-2 San Diego win over the Reds.

12th Doyle Alexander pitches 7+ innings of relief and the Orioles come back to beat the Brewers, 8-6. Loser Jerry Augustine pitches to just two batters in the 6th, serving up a grand slam to Reggie Jackson and a solo shot to Lee May.

With the help of a witch, the Red Sox snap their 10-game losing streak, beating the host Indians, 6-4, in 12 innings. A Boston television stations sends Laurie Cabot, the official witch of Salem, Mass. (as designated by Governor Mike Dukakis, for her work with special needs children), to Cleveland to cast a favorable spell over the Sox. The Sox overcome a 4-1 deficit with the help of Cleveland first sacker John Lowenstein, who makes 3 errors.  “It wasn’t the witch,” says Lowenstein, it was simply incompetence.” The Sox will win 8 of their next 9.

13th The Royals beat the White Sox, 13–2, as George Brett sets an AL record by collecting 3 hits for the 6th consecutive game, breaking Rod Carew’s record. Brett had 3+ hits in games on May 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13th. The only other player this century to collect 3+ hits in six straight games was Brooklyn’s Jimmy Johnston, in 1923.

At Seattle Fred Lynn, out with an ankle injury since March 24th, poles the first pitch he sees from Dick Pole for a HR. He also homers on his second at bat.

The Indians answer Boston’s use of a witch in yesterday’s game by employing a “fairy godmother”, a former ball girl named Debbie Berndt, who dresses in a white gown and white wig. Debbie sprinkles magic dust on CF Rick Manning, but it apparently doesn’t work: Manning misplays a ball into a triple, commits a 3-base error, goes 0-for-5, and the Indians lose, 7-5. Debbie leaves the park in the 8th to a chorus of boos.

15th  Mark Fidrych wins his first ML start, a complete-game 2-hit 2–1 victory over the Indians. The Bird holds the Indians hitless for 6 innings, talks to the ball, and tamps down the mound before toeing the rubber each inning.

At Cincinnati, the Mets Tom Seaver loses, 2-0, to the Reds as Santo Alcala pitches a 4-hitter.

The visiting Twins sweep a pair from the last place Angels, winning 5-2 and 15-5.  Bert Blyleven strikes out 12 in the first game. Minnesota takes a 13-0 lead in game 2, scoring 7 in the 5th.  Dan Ford has a 3run homer and drives in 6, while Phil Roof has 3 hits and 4 RBI. Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam for the Haloes.

16th  The Yankees send P Larry Gura to Kansas City for C Fran Healy. Healy’s best moments will come in the radio booth, while Gura will help KC to the 1978 playoffs with a 16–4 record.

17th  The Cubs send Andre Thornton, hitting just .200, to Montreal for P Steve Renko and OF Larry Biittner.

18th  In Cleveland, the Yankees bat around in the 16th, scoring 5 runs to win 11-6. Lou Piniella has one of two Yankee hits in the frame to drive in a pair. He has four hits in the game and Duane Kuiper has 5 for Cleveland.

The White Sox trade OF Carlos May to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett and OF Rich Coggins.

19th  At Detroit, Carl Yastrzemski slugs 3 homers and goes 4-for-4 as Boston wins, 9–2. Yesterday, Yaz passed Williams as having played the most games for Boston.

20thAt New York, Carl Yastrzemski clubs 2 homers, giving him 5 in two games, to tie a ML mark.  Boston wins, 8–2. Boston P Bill Lee injures his arm in a fight with Yankee players, ending up on the bottom of a pile of players. Lee never really recovers from the injury. The fight starts when Lou Piniella, running on Dwight Evans, is gunned down at the plate and barrels into Fisk. Both come up swinging and both benches clear.  Lee initially blames Nettles for his injury but, after viewing tapes, apologizes to the Yankee 3B. Lee then blames Martin for espousing a fighting style that brought the brawl on.  In 2006, Lee gives an interview to the Marin Independent Journal where he recounts how the Red Sox treat his injury “They’re going, ‘Here take this, take this, take this.’ Afterwards I’ve got sterazolidin, butazolidin, Clenerol, Indicin. I’ve got everything in me. I can pitch in the American League, but I couldn’t run in the Kentucky Derby. Holy cow, I’m glowing in the dark.”

21st Doug DeCinces hits a grand slam in the Orioles 6-run first inning as Baltimore beats Detroit, 8-5.

22nd  Reggie Smith slams 3 homers and drives in 5 runs to give the Cardinals a 7–6 win over the Phillies. Smith’s 3rd round tripper is a solo shot with 2 out in the 9th inning off Tug McGraw to give Al Hrabosky the win.

For the second day in a row, an Oriole hits a grand slam. Ken Singleton’s third hit of the day is a walkoff 4-run homer off Jim Crawford as Baltimore tops Detroit, 8-4.

23rd  The Reds thrash the Padres, 11–0, as George Foster hits a grand slam and drives in 5 runs. Jack Billingham scatters 3 hits in the win.  Foster will drive in another 5 runs tomorrow and will top the league with 121 runs driven in.

24th  Dennis Eckersley and Stan Thomas combine on a one-hitter as Cleveland stops the Orioles, 4–0. Al Bumbry has the lone hit, a leadoff single, the second time in his career he’s stopped a no-hitter.

25th  For the 2nd game in a row, George Foster drives in 5 runs as the Reds whip the Braves, 10–4.  Foster also had 5 RBIs on the 23rd.

Bobby Murcer collects 3 hits, including a grand slam, and Willie Montanez has 4 hits, including a 2-run homer, to lead the Giants to a 7-6 win over the Astros.

26th  In a scoreless game in Anaheim, Chicago’s Ken Brett has a no-hitter with 2 out in the 9th when California’s Jerry Remy tops a slow roller down the 3B line. Third sacker Jorge Orta lets the ball roll and, in a controversial ruling, it goes for a hit, though many thought it ought to be ruled an error. Brett gives up a hit in the 10th to ex-Sox Bill Melton but wins the game 1–0 in 11 innings.

28th  Yankees Ed Figueroa and Tippy Martinez beat the Tigers 9–5 and hold Ron LeFlore hitless for the first time since April 17th. LeFlore had hit safely in 30 straight games, tying the third longest streak in club history.

At Shea, John Curtis scatters three hits as the Cardinals shut out the Mets, 6-0.  Bake McBride hits a 2-run homer and Willie Crawford connects for a grand slam.

The Indians trade Fritz Peterson (0-3) to the Rangers for Stan Perzanowski. Fritz has little left in the tank and after posting a win in Texas in four appearances, will get his release after the season..

29th  The only HR of Joe Niekro’s 22-year career comes at the expense of brother Phil as the Astros tie the Braves in the 7th, then win 4–3.

The Reds score 3 runs in the 9th to edge the Dodgers, 6–5. Ken Griffey’s 2-run triple ties the game, and Joe Morgan’s single wins it.

The Indians and Brewers go a scoreless 9 innings before the Tribe plates 6 runs in the 10th to win, 6-0. Duane Kuiper laces a 2-run single and Rick Manning belts a grand slam.  Jackie Brown allows 5 hits in 10 innings for the win.

30th  In the 2nd game of a twinbill, Houston amasses 25 hits in downing the Braves, 16–5.

In game 1 at Riverfront, the Reds collect 9 stolen bases, 4 by Ken Griffey. Eight of the steals come after Charlie Hough relieves Tommy John, but the Dodgers still prevail, 6-5.  Ron Cey has 5 hits for the Dodgers. Cincinnati takes the second game, 7-2, and takes over 1st place (by percentage points) in the NL West. They will sit atop the division for the rest of the season.

On a cold, damp and foggy night at Comiskey, the White Sox collect 15 hits and down the Rangers, 9-4. Chet Lemon starts the scoring in the 1stinning with a bases-loaded pop up to short left-center field. Texas left fielder Tom Grieve and center fielder Juan Beniquez lose the ball in the fog and it drops for a hit, half buried in the muddy field.  Shortstop Toby Harrah points to it, and Grieve picks it up and throws towards the infield as Lemon easily reaches third base.