Of the American League's four major pennant contenders (Milwaukee, Baltimore, California, and Kansas City), none has been harder hit with injuries than the Royals. Manager Dick Howser has had his nine regulars together for only 41 of the team's first 151 games. Kansas City has stayed in the race because of a sensational 51-23 won-lost record at home, which is another way of saying that probably no team in baseball plays better on artificial turf.
The Royals, who just completed a key three-game series with the California Angels here, still have three more games with the Halos on Sept. 27, 28, and 29 at Kansas City. That series will undoubtedly go a long way toward deciding the winner in the A. L. West. Said Royals outfielder Amos Otis: ''The way to beat the Angels is to force them to go to their bullpen, because they don't have one.''
Following is a list of California's bullpen staff and their invidividual saves. Doug Corbett (8); Don Aase (4); Andy Hassler (3); Luis Sanchez (3); Dave Goltz (2); John Curtis and Bruce Kison (1 each). Meanwhile Dan Quisenberry, whose sidearm delivery seems to be as tough on right-handed hitters as it is on left-handers, has 33 saves for the Royals.