Larry Parrish hit a three-run homer and George Wright had three hits and scored twice to back Charlie Hough's five-hitter in Texas yesterday as the Rangers beat the California Angels, 7-5.
That left the first-place Angels 3 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City, which lost to Oakland.
Parrish hit his 16th homer, off starter Ken Forsch (13-11), in the first inning with Billy Sample and Johnny Grubb on base, giving the Rangers a 4-0 lead. Wright was hit by Forsch's first pitch and scored when Forsch bobbled Sample's bunt and threw wildly. Grubb also was hit by a pitch.
"I doubt if I've ever seen it before: four runs on four pitches and only one hit," said Texas Manager Darrell Johnson. Said California Manager Gene Mauch, "My pitcher went from being mad to embarrassed to mad again, and he didn't have time to think about pitching with all the other things that were going on."
Hough (16-12) had a two-hitter going into the seventh, but the first three hits he yielded were homers to Doug DeCinces, Fred Lynn and Reggie Jackson.
Jackson's 36th homer, with a man on in the seventh, made it 7-4 and Bob Boone's double and Rod Carew's two-out single in the eighth cut the lead to 7-5 before the Angels were stopped.
A's 5, Royals 4: Mike Heath's two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth gave Oakland its victory after visiting Kansas City blew a 4-0 lead in losing for the ninth time in its last 10 games.
Reliever Dan Quisenberry (8-7) retired the first two A's in the eighth before giving up singles to Jeff Burroughs, Dave Lopes and Heath.
The A's rallied on bases-empty homers by Dwayne Murphy, his 25th, in the third and Tony Armas, his 27th, in the sixth. Mike Davis' two-run double in the seventh tied the score.