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1979 Angels Week 10: Nolan Ryan & Frank Tanana come through

Aces lead the charge into first place

Angels Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images

The 1979 Angels finished off a homestand by winning two series against the Blue Jays and Tigers in identical fashion — win the first two games, lose the finale. The result was four wins in six games, and a three-game lead in the American League West, fueled by a pair of gems by their top two pitchers.

Nolan Ryan skipped a turn in the rotation, but struck out a season-high 16 in his return on Saturday against Detroit in a complete game win. It was Ryan’s 12th game of at least 16 strikeouts since joining the Angels.

Frank Tanana pitched a four-hit shutout on Wednesday against the Blue Jays for his fifth win of the season.

Carney Lansford went off with nine hits against the Tigers, and was 11-for-23 (.478) with two doubles, a home run, and six runs scored during the week.

With injuries depleting the offense — Rod Carew and Rick Miller are out — the Angels on June 5 traded minor league third baseman Floyd Rayford to the Orioles for Larry Harlow, who started the final four games of the week in center field and hit .267 (4-for-15) with a triple.

Dan Ford continued to hit, .328 (8-for-23) with five extra-base hits and eight RBI, beginning the week in center, then moving to right after Harlow was acquired.

Willie Aikens had three home runs and seven RBI on Saturday and Sunday combined against Detroit.

Willie Davis, two months shy of his 40th birthday, dusted off the moth balls with two doubles and two singles in Friday’s win over the Tigers. It was the 43rd game with four or more hits in his great career, in which he has amassed 2,553 hits to date.

Rookie reliever Mark Clear had three more scoreless appearances and two saves last week, finishing off a homestand that saw him post 6⅔ scoreless frames.

Weekly summary

4-2 record
33 runs scored (5.50 per game)
22 runs allowed (3.67 per game)
.677 pythagorean record

Year-to-date summary

35-24 record
322 runs scored (5.46 per game)
262 runs allowed (4.44 per game)
.593 pythagorean record (35-24)

AL West standing: 1st place, three games up on the Royals

Game results

Up next

The Angels hit the road, playing the very three teams they just played on the 5-4 homestand. They have two games in Cleveland, three games in two days in Toronto including a scheduled doubleheader, followed by a weekend in Detroit.