1st Carney Lansford hits 3 consecutive HRs as the Angels down the Indians 7–4.
3rd The Orioles win a pair from Toronto, 2–1 in 11 innings, and 5–1. Murray provides the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 11th. Martinez (9–2) is the winner. Mike Flanagan is the winner in the nightcap, the major’s first 20-game winner this year.
5th Matt Keough of the A’s beats the Brewers 6–1 for his first victory after 14 straight losses. He ended 1978 with 4 defeats and barely avoided tying the AL record of 19 consecutive losses.
At Atlanta, The Dodgers produce 4 hits in the 10thoff Gene Garber and top the Braves, 5-3. Garber, in relief of Phil Niekro, loses his 16th, a ML record for relief pitchers. The previous mark was 14.
6th The Giants fire manger Joe Altobelli, promoting coach Dave Bristol in his place.
Doug DeCinces hits a pair of homers and Dennis Martinez pitches a 5-hit shutout in the Orioles 5-0 win over the Blue Jays. The Orioles have won 14 straight against the Jays over two years.
8th In Oakland’s 2–1 win over the White Sox, A’s Rob Picciolo (.234 career) gets his only intentional walk as the Sox elect to pitch to rookie Rickey Henderson. Rickey walks in a run to beat the Sox. Picciolo will have just 25 career walks in 9 seasons (as noted by Dave Smith).
Graig Nettles hits an 8th inning HR to help the Yankees and Ron Guidry beat Detroit, 5–4. It is Guidry’s 10th straight win.
9th The first place Orioles romp to their 7th win in a row, larruping the Red Sox, 16–4. Rick Dempsey hits a grand slam for the Birds in their 6-run 6th, and Bumbry adds a HR in the same frame. Jim Rice homers for the Bosox. Sox C Bob Montgomery is 1-for-2 in his last ML game. He is the last ML batter to wear a hard liner in his cap instead of a batting helmet.
11thIn Cincinnati, the Reds edge the Astros, 9–8 to move into first place for good in the NL West. Dave Concepcion and George Foster hit back-to-back homers in the 7th, good for 3 runs and a Reds lead.
12th Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski singles off New York’s Jim Beattie for his 3,000th career hit. The Sox win 9–2 and Yaz becomes the first AL player to collect both 3,000 hits and 400 HRs.
15th Boston’s Bob Watson hits for the cycle in a 10–2 win over the Orioles. Watson, hitting in order (2nd inning single; 4th inning double; 6th inning fielder’s choice; 8th inning triple; 9th inning homer to LF), becomes the first player to cycle in the both the AL and NL.
At Los Angeles, the Reds Dan Driessen hits a long drive to CF with 2 outs in the 9th that bounces off the glove off Derrell Thomas and over the wall for a home run. The Reds win it over the Dodgers, 2–1.
16th Willie Wilson hits his 5th inside-the-park homer this season in a 6–3 loss to Seattle at Kansas City. It is the most IPHR hit in a season since Kiki Cuyler hit 8 for the Pirates in 1925.
17th The Royals George Brett collects his 20th triple of the season in a 16–4 romp over the Angels. Brett becomes the 5th player ever, and the first since Willie Mays in 1957, to collect 20 doubles, 20 triples, and 20 HRs in the same season. He will finish with totals of 42, 20, and 23.
18th Yanks manager Billy Martin reportedly pays rookie P Bob Kammeyer $100 to hit former Yankee Cliff Johnson with a pitch in Cleveland’s 16–3 rout of the Yankees. Johnson belts two homers as does Toby Harrah and the 2 combine for 9 RBIs. The loss goes to Paul Mirabella but Kammeyer gives up all 8 Tribe scores in the 4th inning without recording an out.
21st Royal infielder U. L. Washington homers from both sides of the plate during a 13–4 win over the A’s. These are the first homers of Washington’s 3-year career.
23rd St. Louis legend Lou Brock steals the 938th—and final—base of his career in a 7–4 win against the New York Mets. He tops 19th century speedster Billy Hamilton by one.
24th Pete Rose singles in the Phillies 7–2 loss to the Cardinals, giving him 200 hits in a season for the 10th time. He breaks the ML record of 9 formerly held by Ty Cobb. Rose hits safely in his 18th straight game, and will extend it to 23 by the end of the season.
With a week to go, Herman Franks resigns as Cubs manager, and is replaced by Preston Gomez, most recently a coach with the Dodgers. After resigning, Franks criticizes a number of Cubs players, including Foote, Vail, Buckner, and Sizemore.
25th Mickey and Rick Mahler hurl in the same game as the Braves fall to the Astros 8–0. It is the most recent instance of brothers pitching for the same team in the same game.
Frank Tanana pitches a 4–1 victory over the Royals to clinch the first-ever AL West title for the Angels.
26th Atlanta’s Phil Niekro notches his 20th win of the season by beating his brother Joe, the NL’s only other 20-game winner in 1979, 9–4. The Niekro brothers are the second pair (the other was Jim and Gaylord Perry) to win 20 games in the same year, and Phil Niekro, who finishes at 21-20, is the first pitcher since Wilbur Wood in 1973 to win and lose 20 games the same year, and the first NL pitcher to do so since 1905.
KC’s Dennis Leonard shuts out California, 4–0, and Royals SS Frank White hits for the cycle.
The last-place Mets top the host Cubs, 8-3, behind the pitching of Tom Hausman and 4 RBIs from Richie Hebner. Cubs RF Larry Biittner misplays a Bruce Boisclair single into a double when his cap falls covering the ball. With the bleacher bums yelling, “Hat! Hat! Hat”, he recovers and throws out Boisclair trying for 3B.
28th Switch-hitting Cardinal SS Garry Templeton collects 3 hits in a doubleheader loss against the Mets and becomes the first player to get 100 hits from each side of the plate. During the last 9 games, he batted exclusively righthanded to set the record. New York wins, 6-2, and 7-6, in 11 innings. Templeton is pulled in game 2 after going 2-for-2.
Frank Pastore shuts out the Braves, 3–0, as the Reds clinch the NL West title.
29th The Astros J. R. Richard shuts out the Dodgers 3–0 and fans 11 batters to break his own modern NL record for strikeouts by a righthander. Richard finishes with 313 K’s, 10 more than in 1978. One of 5 Dodgers hits is a single by Manny Mota, his 146th pinch hit, breaking the mark of 145 formerly held by Smoky Burgess.
30th Minnesota’s Jerry Koosman defeats Milwaukee 5–0 on the final day of the season for his 20th win of the year. It is the only time the Brewers are shut out the entire year, as they fail to tie a record set by the Yankees in 1932. The Brew Crew scored in 213 straight games. Koosman also picks off Jim Wohlford in the 2nd and Wohlford is caught stealing. It is Koosman’s 14th pickoff of the year, a team record (as noted by Stew Thornley).
Two ML managers bite the dust. The Padres fire Roger Craig and the Blue Jays do the same to Roy Hartsfield. San Diego will hire broadcaster Jerry Coleman the next day, while Toronto will hire scout Bobby Mattick on October 18th.
The Niekro brothers each win their 21st game and tie for the NL lead in wins. Phil wins for the Braves, 7–2, over the Reds, while Houston’s Joe tops the Dodgers, 3–2. Phil Niekro (21-20) is the only pitcher this century to lead the league in wins and losses the same season.
Talk about cousins. In a losing cause, Baltimore catcher Dave Skaggs drives in 4 runs on two doubles and a homer, all off starter Rick Wise. The Indians win in 11 innings, 6-5, as Rick Manning has 4 hits. For the light-hitting Skaggs, it is his second ML homer. His first homer came two years ago, also on the last day of the season, and also off Rick Wise, then with Boston (as noted by Ted Patterson).