The block number of a permutation is the maximum number of components in its expression as a direct sum. We show that, for 321-avoiding permutations, the set of left-to-right maxima has the same distribution when the block number is assumed to be k, as when the last descent of the inverse is assumed to be at position n- k. This result is analogous to the Foata–Schützenberger equidistribution theorem, and implies that the quasi-symmetric generating function of the descent set over 321-avoiding permutations with a prescribed number of blocks is Schur-positive.
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- Block number