Steve Carlton tossed a seven-hitter for his 199th career triumph and outdueled John Denny in pitching Philadelphia to victory. The Phillies produced only three hits off Denny but pushed across what proved to be the winning run in the fourth, Larry Bowa scoring on a throwing error by Shortstop Garry Templeton. It was Templeton's 21st error. Keith Hernandez homered for St. Louis.

With Billy Martin's job and Ron Guidry's 11-game winning streak both in trouble Thursday night, the New York Yankees woke up with a ninthinning rally to defeat the Detroit Tigers, 4-2.

Guidry, looking to tie a 49-year-old club record with his 12th straight victory, trailed 1-0 as a result of Ron Le-Flore's leadoff homer in the first inning. But Reggie Jackson tied the game, 1-1, hitting a Dave Rozema pitch into the right-field stands with one out in the ninth for his 12th homer.

By the time the top of the inning was over, Lou Piniella singled in the go-ahead run off reliever John Hiller and Fed Stanley and Ron White singled in runs.

Rich Gossage, brought on after Guidry walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the inning, wild-pitched home a run but nailed down his 10th save and Guidry's 12th victory.

"That's the closest I've come to losing a game all year," said Guidry. "I'm in the limelight right now, but I know it can't last forever."

Martin, who was supposed to have been fired on a visit to Detroit last year, tried to play down his predicament, preferring to talk about his pitcher.

"I've seen him pitch a lot better," Martin said. "He didn't have the good velocity. But I figured as much after he struck out 18 his last time out. That takes a lot out of you."

Of his situation, Martin snapped: "Remember last year when I came in here and was going to be fired? I wound up with a World Series ring.

"I never run scared and I'm not running scared now. i'd like to be in first place and we will be come september."

The victory left the Yankees 7 1/2 games behind Boston in third place in the American League East.

In other American League games, Baltimore beat Milwaukee, 10-3; California downed Minnesota, 4-2, in 12 innings; Texas took Oakland, 8-2; and Seattle defeated Chicago in 10 innings, 8-6.