Syracuse Herald-Journal - April 12, 1980

Luzinski refinds his homer stroke


By the Associated Press


Greg Luzinski, who had lost his home run stroke, and Craig Reynolds, who never had one, are both in the groove.


Luzinski figured to stay there for awhile, but Reynolds says, “No way.”


“Just because of this, don’t expect me to be a power hitter,” warned Reynolds, who led off a five-run Houston eighth inning with his first home run in two seasons as the Astros rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-6. “I hit that ball as hard as I could and it barely went out. Don’t expect too many of these.”


It was only the 11th home run in five major league seasons for Reynolds, who fits right in with the Astros. They hit fewer home runs than any team in the majors last season, 49.


Luzinski, who had averaged over 32 home runs a year for four seasons before slumping to 18 in 1979, belted a three-run shot in the first inning to power the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 victory over the Montreal Expos.


Luzinski doesn’t want to look back on last season, when he was booed lustily by the Philadelphia fans.


“I never had to cope with that before,” he said. “It built up inside me. I hope it’s past now. We have a good ball club and can have a good year. There is no question that we can win this thing.”


Astros 10, Dodgers 6


Los Angeles led 6-3 before Alan Ashby hit a two-run double for Houston in the seventh.


Reynol tied the score with a homer to start the eight off Dodgers reliever Don Stanhouse. Singles by Cesar Cedeno and Enos Cabell and a walk to Jose Cruz loaded the bases and Luis Pujols then drovfe a double over first base. Cedeno and Cabell scored on the hit, and Cruz also came around to score when shortstop Derrel Thomas bobbled the relay throw from the outfield.


“My job is to throw quality pitches in the right locations and I didn’t do that tonight,” said Stanhouse. “Let’s just say Houston was capable of capitalizing on what I couldn’t do.”


That in itself says a lot for the Astros.


“Last year, when I was with Cincinnati, if we got ahead of these guys 6-3 we figured we would win,” said Joe Morgan, who came to the Astros in the offseason as a free agent and says Houston looks different now. “I just know what I saw in spring training. This team is capable of scoring runs. We’ve got good batters and speed – that’s what it takes.”


Phils 6, Expos 3


Luzinski, who lost 25 pounds during the offseason, clenched his fist and waved it in the air as he circled the bases after his homer.


“I couldn’t feel better for him,” said Phillies Manager Dallas Green. “I told you I’d bet my house that ‘The Bull’ would have a heck of a year.”


Luzinski’s blast backed the eight-hit pitching of Steve Carlton as the Phils won before an opening night crowd of 48,460.


Cary Carter hit a two-run homer for Montreal.