In his last four starts for the New York Yankees, Dave Righetti has given up only three runs in 30 innings of pitching. Before that, Righetti had worked 7 1 /3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. When the Yankees sent Dave back to the minors on June 26, it wasn't because he didn't have good stuff but because he had developed some mechanical flaws in his delivery. . . When Baltimore's John Lowenstein came off the bench to hit the ball out of the park against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 18, he helped the Orioles tie an American League record for most pinch-hit home runs by a team in a single season. The figure is 10 and was set originally by the 1961 New York Yankees. . . Three weeks after blasting Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson for his field strategy, catcher Lance Parrish equalled his major league high of 24 home runs. Despite Parrish's unexpected outburst, his exceptional talent will probably keep him from being traded.
Houston's Nolan Ryan, with five straight victories and eight wins in his last nine starts, is baseball's hottest pitcher at the moment. Ryan, with a total of 3,423 career strikeouts, is chasing Walter Johnson's all-time mark of 3,508, a figure he probably won't break until sometime next year. . . The Toronto Blue Jays, who have never finished anywhere but seventh and last in the AL East, have a crucial three-game series coming up with Cleveland in early September. ''If we can sweep that series, we've got a shot at sixth place and a .500 season,'' said Blue Jay manager Bobby Cox.
According to Dodger scout Ed Liberatore, only four pitchers in the major leagues could be successful throwing only fastballs. They are Steve Bedrosian (Braves), Goose Gossage (Yankees), Lee Smith (Cubs), and Bill Caudill (Mariners). . . NBC TV will charge advertisers $180,000 per half minute for commercial time during the 1982 World Series. . . The Atlanta Braves, in the 12 days it took them to lose their 10 1/2-game lead in the NL West, saw their best hitter average-wise (Rufino Linares) go to bat only six times!. . . There is a very good chance Bill Virdon, fired by the Houston Astros, will surface next season as manager of the Montreal Expos, with Jim Fanning returning to the club's front office.