Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Boston held another of its tee-off parties tonight, beating the Baltimore Orioles, 7-3, behind the six-hit pitching of Ferguson Jenkins. Along the way, the Red Sox set yet another major league record for most home runs in a span of consecutive games - 30 homers in nine contests.
Butch Hobson, former University of Alabama quarterback who played in the 1972 Orange Bowl game against Nebraska, contributed Boston's lone home run of the night to keep the streak going. Hobson's choice to follow baseball instead of football looks sounder than ever; the 25-year-old has displayed some great power with 11 home runs this season and 47 runs batted in.
While the Red Sox were winning their seventh straight, 13th of their last 14 and 16th of 18, the grounded Birds were losing their fitth straight. They have yet to beat Boston in six games this year.
This was the second consecutive sweep for the Sox, who disposed of the Yankees in three straight before coming here. The Orioles are 7-12 since June 4, when their slump started. Baltimore was in first place until June 8.
To add to the general depression for tonight's crowd of 22,249 - smallest of the four-night series - Baltimore manager Earl Weaver was chased in the fourth inning by umpire George Maloney for disputing some calls at the plate.
Even in winning, Jenkins also was displeased with the umpire's calls.
"I wasn't getting the low pitches," said Jenkins, a former toiler in the National League, where umpires give pitchers strikes on low deliveries. "For another thing," added the big righthander, "the baseballs weren't rubbed enough for my satisfaction. They were too shiny."
Jenkins gave up a home run to Lee May in the fourth after breezing through the first three innings. "I was dropping the hammer (fast ball) when I needed it for a strikeout," he said.
Boston manager Don Zimmer had no esoteric explanation for the great Sox surge. "All the pieces are falling together," he said. "We have been getting the power hitting, the good pitching from our starters and the good saves by the bullpen."
However, Zimmer doesn't talk about Boston's porouus infield defense. The third baseman, Hobson; the short-stop, Rick Burleson, and the first baseman, George Scott, all are already, in double figures in errors for the year. Scott committed an error tonight and Jenkins another. It's rare for Jenkins; he had fielded 1.000 since September, 1975.
Mike Flanagan and Scott McGregor, both lefthanders, failed to stem the red-hot Sox, who tatooed them for 11 hits.
The Orioles jumped ahead first. Alv Bumbry singled in the first inning, stole second and scored on Ken Singleton's ground-rule double, which hopped the fence in left field. But Hobson equaled things with a homer in the second.
Carlton Fisk walked in the Boston fourth and came home on Hobson's double. May's homer in the bottom half again tied the score. Boston moved ahead to stay in the fifth, netting two runs on a double by Burleson, singles by Fred Lynn and Jim Rice and a sacrifice fly by Carl Yastrzemski.
Baltimore closed to 4-3 in the fifth when Mark Belanger singled, moved up on Jenkins' error, took third on a sacrifice, and scored on May's sacrifice fly.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the eight. They loaded the bases on two walks wrapped around a single, and Steve Dillard came through with a two-run single.
The last run came with two out in the eight when Yastrzemski walked and hurried home as Fisk tripled over Pat Kelly's head in right field. It probably was enough to keep the ghost of Francis Scott key writing songs about the shelling of Baltimore.