1978 September

1st  Making his ML debut, Oriole Sammy Stewart fans 7 consecutive batters en route to a 9–3 win over the White Sox.

2ndKen Henderson’s 3-run pinch homer in the 12th paces the Reds to a 6–3 win over the Cardinals.

3rd  Lee Mazzilli homers from both sides of the plate as the Mets down the Dodgers 8–5.

4th  The Pirates Dorian Boyland has a 1-2 count in his first ML AB when the Mets make a pitching change. Rennie Stennett pinch-hits, taking the 3rd strike. The strikeout is charged to Boyland, watching the completion of his historic AB from the bench (he’ll go 2-for-19 in his ML career). The Pirates sweep the doubleheader from the Mets to move within a game of the 1st place Phils.  The Bucs take the 1st game 7–4 and then win 7–0 behind Jim Bibby.

At Baltimore, the Orioles top the Red Sox, 4–1, behind Jim Palmer.  Rookie Bob Sprowl pitches credibly in his ML debut, but takes the loss.

Behind Ron Guidry’s 20th win, the Yankees take the first game against Detroit 9–1. New York scores 8 in the 7th. Detroit wins the 2nd 5–4 to keep New York 5 games behind Boston.

5th  The Twins Dan Ford costs his team a run during a 4–3 loss to the White Sox. On 3B when a teammate singles, Ford backpedals homeward, signaling Jose Morales to follow him home. Morales arrives there ahead of Ford, who is out for being passed on the bases.

The Expos beat the Cubs 10–8 in a 9-inning game that sees a ML record 45 players participate. The Expos will be the last NL team this century to have 8 batters qualify for the batting title. No Expo will hit .300.

Kip Young allows 7 hits, but one of them is a 3-run homer to Roy White in the 4th, as New York beats Detroit, 4-2. Dick Tidrow (7-9) goes 8+ innings for the win, surrendering a 2-run HR to Phil Mankowski. Ron LeFlore has a single to run his consecutive game batting streak to 27 games.

7th  The Yankees, 4 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, arrive in Boston for a crucial 4-game series. The Yanks begin the “Boston Massacre” with a 15–3 route as Willie Randolph drives in 5 of the runs. The Yanks collect 21 hits off 4 Sox pitchers, including 3 hits apiece by Randolph, Munson and White.  Mike Torrez, with one inning of work, takes the loss. Ken Clay, in relief of Catfish Hunter, is the winner.

8th New York continues its rampage of Boston by scoring 2 runs in the 1st inning and 6 more in the 2nd inning. Boston makes 7 errors to ease the Yankees to a 13–2 romp. Reggie Jackson hits a 3-run homer and Lou Piniella adds a double, triple and homer to back Jim Beattie’s pitching. Dwight Evans and Carlton Fisk both make a pair of errors. New York is now 2 games in back.

Mitchell Page hits a grand slam and drives in 5 runs while Mike Edwards scores 5 runs in Oakland’s 11-4 win over Texas.

Greg Pryor drives in all 3 White Sox runs with a pair of homers as Chicago edges Seattle, 3-2

In a 5–3 win at Wrigley Field, Phillies RF Bake McBride handles 11 chances, tying the NL mark for right fielders.  It was last matched by the Cubs Swish Nicholson, in 1945, in the same park.

9th Ron Guidry (21–2) gives up two singles in the 1st inning and that’s it. New York sends 12 runners to the plate and scores 7 runs in the 4th inning to win 7–0 against Dennis Eckersley and cut the Boston lead to a single game.  For Guidry, it is his 7th shutout of the year, and the first lefty shutout in Fenway since 1974 (Ken Holtzman, August 5th).  With the Brewers’ victory over the Twins, Milwaukee trails by just 4 1/2 games.

10th No wonder they call it The Boston Massacre.The Red Sox throw 22-year-old Bobby Sprowl at the Yankees and the lefty lasts just two-thirds of an inning walking 3 and allowing one hit. The Yankees take the lead and top the Red Sox 7–4 behind Ed Figueroa and Rich Gossage. Boston collects just 5 hits, including Fred Lynn’s 21st homer. The Yankees outhit the Red Sox 67-21, receive 19 walks and outscore them 42-9, in a sweep that leaves the teams in a tie for first place.  The win caps a remarkable march to the top from 4th place, 14 games out.

Don Baylor hits a 1st-inning grand slam, off Paul Splittorff, and the Angels roll to a 13-3 thrashing of the Royals. Baylor drives in 5 runs. The win puts the Haloes a half game behind the Royals in the AL West.

12th The Pirates break their 5 game losing streak by beating the Phils, 5–1, to split the 2-game series with their cross-state rivals. The Phils are now 4 games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL East.

14th  Jim Bouton, 38, after retiring from pro baseball, earns a 4–1 win for the Braves over the Giants. It is Bouton’s first ML victory since 1970, and the last of his career. The Bulldog gives up just 3 hits in 6 innings.

The Angels score 13 unearned runs in the 9th inning to cap a 16–1 win over the Rangers.

15th  The Dodgers become the first ML team ever to draw 3 million fans. Jay Blood is the historic 3 millionth spectator as the Dodgers shut out the Braves 5–0. The victory is dampened when coach Jim Gilliam suffers a brain hemorrhage.

Phil Garner hits his 2nd grand slam in 2 days as the Pirates beat the Expos 6–1. Garner is the first NL player to have slams in consecutive games since Jimmy Sheckard (9/23, 24/01) and the first major leaguer since Brooks Robinson, in 1962. Garner will end the season with 12 dingers.

The Sox score five runs in the 10th inning to top the Mariners, 8–3, and win their first extra inning game of the year.  The Sox had lost their previous eight. With the victory, Chicago avoids becoming the first team in history not to win an extra inning game.

The Yankees, now 1 1/2 games in front of Boston, open a 3-game series in the Bronx with the Red Sox.  Guidry again gives up 2 Boston hits and wins a 4–0 shutout. Chris Chambliss and Graig Nettles hit successive homers, off Luis Tiant, in the 4-run 4th inning.

Tom Seaver pitches a 2-hitter to give the Reds a 6–1 win over the Giants at Candlestick. A single and a Darrell Evans homer are the only safeties.

At the Vet, Dan Norman has a pair of homers and John Stearns has 4 hits as the Mets edge the Phillies, 5-4. Garry Maddox has 3 hits to run his consecutive game hitting streak to 20 games.

16th With 55,091 looking on, the Yankees snap a 2–2 tie with a 9th inning triple by Willie Randolph and a sacrifice fly by Thurman Munson to beat the Red Sox, 3–2.  New York now leads by 3 1/2 games. The Yanks first score on a Reggie Jackson 2-run blast in the 5th.  Both starters, Catfish Hunter and Mike Torrez, go the distance.

17th  Boston finally wins against the Yankees, taking a 7–3 victory in Yankee Stadium as Dennis Eckersley and Andy Hassler combine to stop the Yankees on 4 hits.  The Yanks score 2 unearned runs in 8th on Butch Hobson’s 2nd error of the game (and his 42nd of the year). Hobson, fielding .899 due to floating bone chips in his elbow, will make one more error this year before the Sox move him to DH, but his .899 is the lowest FA for a regular since 1916. Yaz, playing CF in place of the injured Lynn, collects his 14th homer of the year in the 9th inning.

18th  David Clyde does not get out of the 1st inning as he serves up a grand slam to Gary Roenicke in a 10-3 Cleveland loss to Baltimore. Roenicke drives in 5 runs and Billy Smith knocks in 3 for the O’s. Scott McGregor wins his 15th, going 8 innings.

19th  During a 12–11 win over the Cubs, the Pirates’ 38-year-old, lead-footed Willie Stargell attempts to steal 2B. The Cubs’ SS waits with the ball as Stargell slides 10 feet short of the base, signaling “time-out.”  The Pirates led 11–2 in the 7th, but the Cubs rally and tie it in the 9th. Dave Parker homers in the 11th off Bruce Sutter to give the Bucs their 7th straight win and 30th in their last 38 since August 12. Besides his two homers, Parker adds two run scoring singles.

The Phils lose to Montreal, 5–2, and now lead the Pirates by one game with 12 to play.  Rookie Scott Sanders stops the Quakers. The Phils are 19-18 since August 12.

Mike Caldwell wins his 20th as the Brewers shut out the Yankees, 2-0.

Carl Yastrzemski has a 3-run homer and drives in 5 runs to lead the Red Sox to an 8-6 win over Detroit. Jason Thompson hits a grand slam for the Tigers. Boston now trails the Yankees by 1.5 games.

In the first of two, Ron Bloomberg pounds an 8-th inning grand slam as the White Sox come from behind to beat the A’s, 8-4. The Sox complete the sweep with a 7-3 win behind rookie Steve Trout.

20th  The Red Sox collect 6 hits—4 by Jerry Remy—off Dave Rozema but the Tigers clobber Boston, 12–2. Lou Whitaker and Rusty Staub both have 3-run homers to lead Detroit’s 15-hit attack.  The Sox loss, combined with the Yankees split with Toronto, leaves New York two games in front with 10 games to go.

The Yanks split a pair with Toronto, with Ron Guidry losing his 3rd game of the year.  Lefty Mike Willis wins the duel with Guidry, 8–1, the third loss for Guidry this year to a guy named Mike. New York takes the second game, 3-2, scoring 3 runs in the 9th.

21st  The Cubs tie an NL record by using 27 players during a 14-inning 3–2 loss to the Pirates.  Pittsburgh’s margin comes when Rennie Stennett walks in the 14th and pinch runner Matt Alexander steals 2nd. When C Doug Radar’s throw goes into CF, Alexander heads for 3rd where the center fielder’s throw hits him in the back, allowing him to score. The Pirates are now 1 1/2 games behind the Phils.

23rd  The Angels 27-year-old OF Lyman Bostock, a .311 lifetime hitter, is killed by a shotgun blast while riding in a car in Gary, IN. The shot was meant for one of the other passengers in the car. In Chicago earlier that day, the Angels fell to the White Sox, 5-4. Bostock made the final out of the game, then traveled to nearby Gary to visit his uncle Ed Turner.

The Yankees lead over the Red Sox is trimmed to one game when Cleveland scalps New York 10–1.

24th  Ron Guidry (23–3) gains his 3rd 2-hit shutout of the month, 4–0 over the Indians. The two Indian hits are by Duane Kuiper, the 2nd time this year that he has recorded the only hits in a game. The Yankees ace also two-hit the Red Sox on September 9 (7–0) and 15 (4–0). It is Guidry’s 9th shut out of the year, a Yankee record, and ties the AL record for southpaws set by Boston lefty Babe Ruth in 1916. The Red Sox stay one game in back of New York by topping Toronto 7–6.

26th  New York District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley rules that women sportswriters cannot be banned from locker rooms in the state.

Baltimore’s Mike Flanagan has a no-hitter against Cleveland with 2 outs in the 9th inning when Gary Alexander homers and 2 singles follow. Don Stanhouse comes in to save the 3–1 Orioles win.

In a duel of aces, Dennis Eckersley tops Dave Rozema, scattering 7 Tiger hits to win, 4–1.  Eck’s record at Fenway is now 10–1. The Sox have 14 hits, led by Jim Rice’s 44th homer of the year. The Yankees top the Blue Jays, 4–1, to keep a one-game lead over Boston.

27thAt Fenway, Carlton Fisk lines a 2-run triple in the first inning and the Red Sox top the Tigers, 5–2. George Scott hits his first homer in a month and collects his 1000th RBI to back Luis Tiant’s win (his 203rd).  New York maintains its lead by beating the Blue Jays, 5–1, at Yankee Stadium.

Don Sutton strikes out 5 in 6 innings and leaves the game with a lead. But Charlie Hough coughs up 4 runs as the Reds beat the visiting Dodgers, 5-3. Sutton strikes out 5 batters to top 150 on the year for his 12thstraight season to start a career.

28th  Mike Torrez wins his 1st game in a month, stopping the Tigers on 3 hits to win, 1–0. There are only two putouts by the Sox outfield. Boston’s lone run comes on Jim Rice’s 45th homer of the year, off Young.  It is the most homers by a Red Sox player since Jimmie Foxx in 1938.

At Yankee Stadium, Ron Guidry (24-3) allows four hits and strikes out nine in stopping the Blue Jays, 3–1. The Yanks manage just four hits off Balor Moore and Tom Buskey. The win keeps the Yankees in first place by a game. When news of the death of Pope John Paul I reaches the press box, New York announcer Phil Rizzuto observes, “That’ll put a damper on even a Yankee win.”

29th  Bob Stanley makes just his 3rd start of the year, shutting out the Blue Jays at Fenway, 11–0.  Stanley has a one-hitter but Dick Drago takes over in the 7th as the two hurlers allow just 3 hits. Jim Rice’s first inning double and 2nd inning single gives him 400 total bases for the year. He is the first player to reach that mark in the AL since Joe DiMaggio in 1937: Aaron had 400 in 1959. Lynn and Hobson both collect 3 hits.

The first-place Yankees, trailing Cleveland 1–0, score 3 runs in the 8th to win, 3–1.

Pittsburgh’s Kent Tekulve sinks the Phillies twice, winning both games in relief, 5–4 and 2–1. He pitches 2 innings in the opener and pitches 1 1/3 in the nightcap, winning in the 10th. Bruce Kison pitches 6 innings in the nightcap, allowing only Greg Luzinski’s home run. Kison adds a homer of his own, off Steve Carlton, to end the year with 4 hits, all for a season cycle. He is the 2nd major leaguer to cycle with only 4 hits.

At the Astrodome, the Giants edge the Astros, 2-1, behind Ed Halicki.  It is SF’s 42nd win by one run, a major league record. They’ve lost 26 by a run.

30th  Baltimore 2B Rich Dauer makes his only error of the season in the final game, a 5–4 loss to Detroit. Dauer’s 86 games and 425 chances without miscue are AL records.

The Phillies overcome a first-inning grand slam by Willie Stargell to beat the Pirates 10–8 and finally clinch the NL East title. Winning P Randy Lerch contributes 2 HRs to his cause.  The loss snaps the Pirates’ streak of 24 straight wins at Three Rivers Stadium.

Tommy John goes 5 innings to win his 17th as the Dodgers thump the host Padres, 7-0.  Steve Garvey has a homer to extend his consecutive game hitting streak to 20 games, his second hitting streak of that length this year.

At Fenway, Dennis Eckersley notches his 20th win of the year as the Red Sox defeat the Blue Jays, 5–1. Eck allows just 4 hits, including Roy Howell’s 8th homer, in completing his 16th start.

The Yankees top the Indians, 7–0, behind Ed Figueroa’s 20th win of the year.  With the win the Yanks clinch a tie for the pennant.