The Chicago Cubs accepted Manager Gene Michael's resignation Tuesday and named Frank Lucchesi manager for the rest of the season.
General Manager Dallas Green, in announcing Lucchesi's appointment, said: "Frank understands that it is for 25 games and no longer."
In Lucchesi's debut Tuesday, the Cubs lost to Pittsburgh, 4-1, at Chicago.
Michael, who resigned after spending a little more than a season and a half on the job, has frequently argued with Green about strategy and trades.
Lucchesi, 59, managed Philadelphia from the start of the 1970 season to July 1972. He also took over for Billy Martin in Texas from July 1985 to July 1987.
"I want to do what's best for this ball club," said Lucchesi, who joined the Cubs in the winter as a part-time scout. Lucchesi said he is not a candidate for the regular job. "I don't feel I will go to Dallas at the end of the season and say, 'Dallas, throw my hat into the ring,' " Lucchesi said.
The Cubs were 46-56 under Michael last season and 68-68 this year for an overall record of 114-124.
Said Green: "Gene's decision was his and his decision only. After I talked with Gene late (Monday) night, I felt comfortable that he had his reasons why he didn't want to come back. I respect that."
Catcher Jim Sundberg, who has had 16 managers in 14 major league seasons, said: "I thought he was one of the better managers I have played for. He is a learner and I think he worked hard."
The leading managerial candidate for 1988 is third-base coach John Vukovich, who managed the team for two games when Jim Frey was fired in 1986. Vukovich said Green telephoned him Monday night and was told an interim manager would be named.
"He said the timing is not good right now for anybody to take over on more than an interim basis," Vukovich said. "I have the possibility at the end of the year to get the job and we will take it from there."
Two other names have been mentioned--Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams and former Cleveland Manager Pat Corrales.
Williams, a Cubs coach, has expressed interest in a major league managerial job. Corrales is a friend of Green's. He took over Philadelphia on Green's recommendation after Green left the Phillies to become general manager at Chicago.
The Pirates' victory over the Cubs Tuesday was their 11th in 14 games this season. Mike Diaz and R.J. Reynolds hit run-scoring singles in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and Mexican-born pitcher Vicente Palacios earned his first major league victory.
Rick Sutcliffe (15-8) was the loser.
San Francisco 6, Houston 4--Mike Aldrete's two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning enabled the Giants to win at Houston and improve their lead in the National League West to 5 1/2 games.
The Astros scored four runs in the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
Don Robinson (10-6) got the victory in relief, pitching 2 innings. He also doubled leading off the ninth.
Montreal 4, St. Louis 1--Bryn Smith and Andy McGaffigan combined on a four-hitter at Montreal to lead the Expos, who beat the Cardinals for the 9th time in 13 games this season and moved to within three games of the National League East leaders.
Smith (9-6) went six innings, allowing one run and three hits, before McGaffigan got the final nine outs for his 10th save. Bob Forsch (10-5), who has not won since Aug. 10, was the loser. He allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings.
New York 5, Philadelphia 2--Rafael Santana's two-run single snapped a sixth-inning tie at New York and the Mets went on to win a game that was delayed twice by rain. Kevin McReynolds, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth, scored the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Bob Ojeda, in his first appearance since May 9 following surgery on his left elbow, pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the Mets, who now trail St. Louis by only 2 1/2 games in the National League East.
He left the game in the fifth inning, leading 2-1. Terry Leach (11-1) was the winner despite giving up a game-tying homer to Mike Schmidt, his 29th, in the sixth. Doug Sisk pitched three innings of one-hit relief for his third save.
Atlanta 4, San Diego 2--Pete Smith allowed three hits in the first eight innings of his first major league appearance and Dale Murphy established a career high with his 38th homer as the Braves won at Atlanta.
Smith, who was called up from the Braves' Double-A club at Greenville, S.C., on Sept. 1, did not allow a base runner until John Kruk beat out a bouncer to short with two outs in the fourth.