Allentown Morning Call - August 20, 1980

‘Senseless’ move seals victory for Phils, 7-4


By Marc Markowitz, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – There was no rhyme or reason to pinch-hit George Vukovich for Dick Ruthven in the seventh inning last night. 


Philadelphia was leading by a run and Vukovich's bat has gathered more rust than most drain pipes. Besides, even if Ruthven was tiring, the more reliable Greg Gross and Del Unser were waiting poised on the bench. 


No, there didn't seem to be any good reason why George Vukovich should bat with two out and runners on first and second... not until he doubled in two runs which helped the Phils beat San Diego 7-4 before 30,588 at Veterans Stadium. 


The win was the sixth straight for Philadelphia, equaling its longest streak of the season and getting this important nine-game homestand off to a successful start. It also put the Phillies 10 games over the.500 mark for the first time this season. 


It was achieved in come-from-behind fashion after the Phils had spotted the Padres a 3-0 lead, and continued the torrid hitting Philadelphia had begun Thursday in Shea Stadium.


The Phils, who averaged eight runs 'and 14 hits a game in sweeping the Mets, nearly maintained those figures last night. They were one off in the run department and one ahead in hitting. Every regular but Pete Rose hit safely and everyone but Rose and Garry Maddox had more than one safety. 


While it was Vukovich who ensured the victory and silenced the armchair experts, it was Larry Bowa who was the spark plug collecting three hits and two RBIs, including the game winner. 


The Phils could have had two earlier runs but were victimized by ground-rule doubles.


In the second inning, Bake McBride sliced a double to left and scored on Larry Bowa's base hit. Boone doubled into the rightfield corner with the ball bouncing into the seats and Bowa had to stop at third. 


Lonnie Smith led off the third with an infield single and stole his 28th base of the season when he avoided a pickoff attempt by beating Willie Montanez's errant throw to second. Mike Schmidt singled for his 87th RBI. Manny Trillo's hard grounder went inside the third-base bag and was touched by a fan and Schmidt had to stop at third. 


The Phils collected 10 hits off Bob Shirley before he was lifted in the fifth, but until then they never led because San Diego scored three runs in the first inning.


Gene Richards started the frame with a single and went to third as Boone's errant pickoff went into right-field. Ozzie Smith bounced out as Richards scored. Dave Winfield walked, moved to second as Willie Montanez bounced out and scored on Jerry Mumphrey's base hit. Mumphrey stole second and scored on Luis Salazar's single. 


The Phils pecked away with single runs in the second, third and fourth, but San Diego maintained the lead scoring a single run in the top of the fourth. Salazar boosted his average to a lusty.667 (6 for 9) as he tripled to start the fourth and scored on Craig Stimac's sacrifice fly. 


Philadelphia tied the game 4-4 in the fifth when hot-hitting Trillo got his third homer in the last five games. It marked the 10th straight game the Phils had homered. When Maddox and Bowa followed with doubles, Shirley was through for the evening and Philadelphia finally led. 


PHIL-INS – Phils led league in hitting with .272 average entering last night's game. Lonnie Smith, who'd hit in eight straight, had upped his average to .351 and his 27 stolen bases were five shy of Richie Ashburn's record for a Phillie rookie... Top four Phillie farm clubs are either first or second in their respective leagues. Mark Davis is 17-6 and Dan Fowler 13-6 for Eastern League-leading Reading... Phils will top the two-million attendance mark this weekend against Giants.