1st Phil Niekro earns his 200th career win as the Braves beat the Pirates 5–2. Gary Matthews hits 2 homers including an IPHR to break a 2-2 tie in the 9th. The event is saddened by the collapse of Atlanta’s popular GM, Bill Lucas, who will pass away tomorrow.
Pinch hitter Roger Freed hits a 2-out game-ending ultimate grand slam in the 11th off Joe Sambito to give the Cardinals a 7-6 win over the Astros. It is the first ultimate grand slam in extra-inning innings in the NL and the first hit since Babe Ruth hit one in 1925.
3rd Bobby Bonds hits his 300th HR, against Moose Haas, in a 6–1 loss to Milwaukee. He has 413 SBs at the time and becomes the 2nd player, after Willie Mays, to have 300 SBs and 300 HRs.
6th The Reds light up J.R. Richards and whip the Astros, 17–5. Champ Summers has 5 RBIs for Cincy to win the opener. The Reds take the nightcap, 8–2.
8th During an 8–7 loss to Texas, Kansas City loses 2 regulars, both as a result of being hit by pitches from Ed Farmer. OF Al Cowens suffers a fractured jaw and will miss 21 games: Cowens was allegedly peeking at the catcher and expected a pitch low and away. 2B Frank White sustains a broken hand and will sit out 33 contests. Farmer will be traded 3 times in the next 12 months. On June 20, 1980, Cowens will hit a grounder off Farmer and charge the mound.
Consecutive HRs by Eddie Murray, Lee May, and Gary Roenicke in the 6th power the Orioles to an 8–2 win over Oakland. Murray has now hit in 19 straight games.
The Twins roll by the Toronto Blue Jays, 16–6. In the 7th, Twins Smalley, Kusick and Landreaux all homer off Toronto’s Balor Moore.
9th Four bench-clearing brawls and 2 grand slams (Gary Matthews and John Milner) highlight the Pirates wild 17–9 victory over the Braves. Substitute umpires eject 5 players, 4 managers, and a coach.
Gary Roenicke spoils Mike Norris’s no-hit bid by hitting a double in the 7th inning. It’s the only hit Norris allows as Oakland tops the Orioles, 4–2.
The recently released Paul Blair, let go by New York, signs with the Reds.
12th Led by Jerry Remy’s 5-for-5, the Red Sox use 16 hits to beat the A’s, 8–2. Mike Torrez (4–1) goes all the way for the win.
Rick Anderson of Jackson (Texas League) pitches a 8–0 no-hitter against Shreveport.
13th The Padres Randy Jones steals 2B against the Mets in a 5–4 San Diego victory. He is the first pitcher in the team’s 11-year history to do so.
Willie Wilson hits the first of 5 inside-the-park HRs he will collect in 1979, helping the Royals to a 14–5 triumph over the White Sox.
The Reds top the Pirates, 7-3, as newly acquired Paul Blair hits a 2-run HR off John Candelaria Dan Driessen also homers. Phil Garner has 3 hits, including a homer, and 2 errors for the Bucs. Dave Parker has a single to up his consecutive hitting streak against the Reds to 32 games, stretching back to July 9, 1976 (as noted by Retrosheet).
16th NL owners approve the sale of the Astros from the Ford Motor Credit Company to John J. McMullen for a reported $19 million.
17th The wind is reallyblowing out at Wrigley as the Cubs (6) and the Phillies (5) combine for a ML-record-tying 11 HRs and 97 total bases during a wild 10-inning slugfest won 23–22 by the Phils. Dave Kingman has 3 HRs and 6 RBIs for the Cubs, while teammate Bill Buckner has a grand slam and 7 RBIs. Mike Schmidt’s 2 HRs include the game-winner in the 10th off Cub relief ace Bruce Sutter. Bob Boone has 5 RBIs and Larry Bowa 5 hits. The Phils jump to a 7–0 lead in the 1st on 3 home runs, 3-run shots by Schmidt and Boone and one by P Randy Lerch. They lead 15–6 after 3 innings, and 21–9 going into the bottom of the 6th, but can’t hold it. Rawly Eastwick shuts out the Cubs for 2 frames to win. The 2 teams combine to have 21 different players score runs and the 2-team total of 47 extra bases on long hits (24-Phi) sets a ML mark for an extra-inning game. It is the largest scoring game in the ML since August 25, 1922, when these same 2 teams met. At Wrigley Field.
18th Dale Murphy has 3 HRs in 3 at bats, knocking in 5 runs, to pace the Braves to a 6–4 victory over the Giants.
19th ML umpires return to work, 2 days after a labor agreement is reached in New York.
20th Houston moves to 1 1/2 games in back of the Reds with a doubleheader sweep of San Diego. In game 1, Terry Puhl hits a leadoff homer, off Gaylord Perry, for the only score in the game. Williams is the winner. Houston takes the nightcap, 6–3.
23rd The Rangers Al Oliver hits 3 HRs in a 7–2 win over the Twins at Texas.
The Yankees trade pitchers with the Cubs, sending Dick Tidrow to Chicago for Ray Burris. Tidrow will regain his form in the Windy City, while Burris will be just 1–3 in pinstripes before being banished to the Mets.
24th Billy Martin issues a public apology to Reno sportswriter Ray Hagar, with whom he brawled last November. Hagar had filed suit for assault, leading to an out-of-court settlement.
25th Seven different Dodgers, including P Rick Sutcliffe, hit HRs as Los Angeles buries the visiting Reds 17–6. Sutcliffe poles his off Tom Seaver. The last homer for LA comes when Davey Lopes hits a 3–0 pitch in the 6th with the Dodgers up, 14–2. In his next at bat, Dave Tomlin decks Lopes 4 straight times inciting a brawl.
At Candlestick Park, the Braves take a 4–1 lead in the 4th with 2 HRs, and the Giants answer back with 3 HR in same inning to tie the ML mark. Jack Clark adds one in 8th for a 6–4 win.
The Braves ship Frank LaCorte (4–24 lifetime) to the Astros for Bo McLauglin (9–15 lifetime). LaCorte will turn it around, going 19–20 for the rest of his career, while McLauglin will win just one more game.
28thGeorge Brett hits for the cycle and adds a 2nd game-ending HR in the 16th to pace the Royals to a 5–4 win over the Orioles. Larry Gura is the winning pitcher. Brett is the last player this century to have 2 homers in a game where he cycles. Before Brett, Yaz in 1965 was the last to include a 2nd homer with his cycle.
29th Former Indian 1B Luke Easter, working as a bank guard in Cleveland, is shot to death in a holdup.
30th New York’s Cliff Johnson crashes into home plate umpire Lou DiMuro in the 11th inning in a game against Milwaukee. DiMuro, unconscious for 32 minutes, is taken to the hospital. Johnson scores the 2nd of 3 runs for the Yanks in their 11-inning, 5–2 win.
31st Pat Underwood makes his ML debut for Detroit, pitching 8 1⁄3 innings in shutting out Toronto, 1–0. The losing pitcher is Pat’s brother, Tom, who goes the distance allowing only Jerry Morales’s 8th inning HR.
The Expos complete a series sweep over the Phillies, each win by a shutout. Scott Sanderson is the 1–0 winner today, following whitewashes by teammates Steve Rogers (9–0) and Bill Lee (2–0). Christensen allows just 2 hits in 7 innings but takes the loss.