Wilmington Morning News - April 25, 1980

Phillies falter in Reading exhibition


Special to the Morning News


The Phillies are taking some things more seriously under Dallas Green than under Danny Ozark, but exhibition games apparently aren't included.


The Phils committed four errors, hit into three double plays and triple play, and got runners to third base in only two innings last night in losing their annual game with Reading, their Eastern League farm team, 8-4 before a turnout of 7,132.


Dick Ruthven started for Philadelphia and pitched two innings of shut-out ball, but with the Phils leading 3-0 Tug McGraw yielded a quick three runs in the third including a home run by Bob Dernier, who is still looking for his first homer in the Eastern League.


However, Scott Munninghoff , who pitched for Reading last year, took the loss by allowing five runs in his four innings.


The Phils' three-run first was ignited by Pete Rose's single. Philadelphia then scored a run on three consecutive walks, followed by Greg Luzinski's two-run single. But then came the triple play – Keith Moreland flying to center, Luzinski caught trying to take second on the play and Mike Schmidt being called out after leaving second too soon.


The Phils' only other run came in the ninth, on an RBI groundout by Coach Ruben Amaro, who retired as a player in 1971. Ruthven's two innings, however, was a bright note for Green.


"He's been rushing himself, and his arm was lagging," said Green.


"Tonight he concentrated on his balance and holding himself back. I was satisfied with the way he threw."


"Munninghoff threw more breaking balls than he ordinarily would, we wanted him to work on that," Green added.


All but one of the stolen bases came at the expense of John Vukovich, the emergency catcher who caught the last six innings.


Cliff Speck, a one-time Mets' first-round draft pick, started slowly, but settled down after the triple play. He allowed only four more runners through the sixth before giving way to Manny Abreu who pitched the last three innings.


Hank King, the Phillies' batting practice pitcher, worked the eighth inning. Unlike a batting practice pitcher, however, King had trouble getting the ball over, but he kept Reading from adding to its run total.


Green did not have four of his regulars because of ailments or (in Bob Boone's case) a meeting. The other four all left by the fourth inning.


"I just couldn't afford to get any more front-line guys hurt," he explained.


The victory gives Reading a 6-5-1 lead in the series which began in 1967. Last night's crowd, despite a pregame shower, was the best since 1968.