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1979 Angels Week 17: Rod Carew torments Twins, Don Baylor remains hot

Two Angels stars led the charge last week (41 years ago)

Sports Contributor Archive 2019 Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 1979 Angels won four of seven games last week, splitting with the Yankees in New York before returning home to take two of three from their closest pursuer, the Twins. California ended the week four games up in the American League West, in search of its first division title.

It’s not the largest lead of the season — that was five games up, last on June 20 — but it’s double the cushion the Angels had at the end of last week.

Don Baylor continued his summer in the sun, hitting .400 (10-for-25) last week with five more extra-base hits, and ended the week on an eight-game hitting streak. Baylor drove in eight runs last week, and had an RBI in five of the Halos’ seven games. On the season, Baylor leads the majors with 96 RBI in 105 games.

Baylor’s career high is 99 RBI, set in 1978.

Dan Ford started and ended the week with three-hit games, and mixed in another three-hit game and a two-hit game in between. He homered both Tuesday in New York and Sunday against the Twins.

Brian Downing had an odd week, with just four singles in 22 at-bats, hitting .182. But he also walked nine times for a .419 on-base percentage and scored four runs. Downing took over the team lead with 49 walks on the season, one more than Baylor.

Feasting on old friends

Rod Carew had his second four-hit game of the season against the Twins on Sunday, and scored five runs in the final two games of the weekend series against his old team. On the week Carew hit .345 (10-for-29) with three doubles, a home run, and four walks, scoring nine times.

In nine games against Minnesota this season, Carew is 15-for-33 (.455) with four doubles, a triple, and 12 runs scored.

Carew, looking for his seventh American League batting title in the last eight years, is hitting .351 on the season, but is 55 plate appearances shy of qualifying at the moment.

Ryan out

Nolan Ryan struck out two of his three batters faced on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium but left after just one inning, after hearing a “pop” in his elbow. He was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his elbow.

Rookie left-hander Ralph Botting filled in with 5⅓ innings of stellar relief, allowing only a run on three hits, striking out six for his first major league win.

Weekly summary

4-3 record
38 runs scored (5.43 per game)
21 runs allowed (3.00 per game)
.747 pythagorean record

Year-to-date summary

60-45 record
573 runs scored (5.46 per game)
463 runs allowed (4.41 per game)
.596 pythagorean record (63-42)

AL West standing: 1st place, four games up on Minnesota

Game results

Up next

The Angels finish off the homestand with three against the Mariners, then head back out on the road to face the Twins.