Steve Garvey, sidelined with the most serious injury of his 14-year major league career, says there's little chance he will return to the San Diego Padres' lineup this season.

"The probability is slim," said Garvey, a first baseman whose National League-record consecutive game streak ended July 29 at 1,207 games when he suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb in a home plate collision with Atlanta Braves' pitcher Pascual Perez. Garvey, who was batting .294 with 14 home runs, hasn't swung a bat since.

Dick Williams, Padres manager, also doubts the 34-year-old Garvey will be back before next season, saying, "Why run the risk?" There are indications that relations are strained between Williams and Garvey, who signed a five-year, $6 million free-agent contract with San Diego in December after 13 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The other night, Williams grew annoyed when asked about Garvey's status. "He gets enough ink," he said. "I saw a picture of him in the paper (last week) in New York watching a tennis tournament, while we were across the road getting our backs wracked" by the New York Mets. "Not taking anything away from Steve, but we have played better won-loss percentage ball without him." . . .

Dane Iorg, an outfielder-first baseman who spent nearly a month on the sidelines with an injured right wrist, has been lost to the St. Louis Cardinals again indefinitely.

X-rays revealed that Iorg, 33, suffered a broken bone at the tip of the middle finger on his right hand Wednesday night . . .

New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin has been cast as a villain throughout much of his career as a player and manager, but to Ronald Gay, a disabled, unemployed father of three, Martin is a hero.

Gay, 39, said he did not have enough money to take his family to a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Yankees. Instead, he took them to the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee so they could see the players for free. He met Martin and told him of his plight. Martin responded by saying he would arrange for six tickets for three of the games and even gave Gay $20. "He does have a heart," Gay said.