Wilmington Morning News - August 21, 1980

Phils fail to hold on in 7-5 loss


By Kevin Noonan, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – For one of the few times since he's donned Phillies' pinstripes, Pete Rose failed to deliver in the clutch.


Rose "hit" into a unique double-play to help squelch a Phils' rally as the San Diego Padres stopped the Phils' six-game winning streak – and stopped an eight-game losing streak of their own – with a 7-5 victory last night at Veterans Stadium.


After the Padres had batted around the order in the fifth inning to take their two-run lead – after the Phils had batted around in the first to score all five of their runs – the Phillies put on a ninth-inning rally. Pinch-hitters Greg Gross and Del Unser led off the inning with singles, and Rose fouled off two pitches trying to advance the runners with a bunt. Rose worked Padre reliever Rollie Fingers for a full count before fouling off two more pitches. With both Gross and Unser running, Rose fanned on a low pitch, and Padre catcher Craig Stimac gunned down Gross at third.


Mike Schmidt ended the game by grounding out to third baseman Luis Salazar, who made a fine play going to his left before throwing out Schmidt by a step.


"The pitch was in the dirt," said Rose, who had an RBI single in the Phils' first inning. "I had to protect the plate. I had two good rips at breaking balls up, but fouled them off. Sometimes you have too much confidence in the pitcher. You just don't expect a pitcher like Rollie Fingers to walk the bases loaded, especially with Schmidt and (Bake) McBride up next. You expect a pitch around the plate. He just made a damn good pitch."


Fingers recorded his 16th save for winner John Curtis (5-8). Padre starter Juan Eichelberger, after getting bombed in the first, didn't allow another hit. In fact, the Phils didn't collect another hit until the seventh inning. After pounding out seven doubles in Tuesday's 7-4 victory, the Phils failed to get an extra-base hit last night.


"This was a team loss, starting with the manager on down," said Manager Dallas Green, alluding to his team's four errors and the Padres' four unearned runs. "I don't believe we were meant to win it."


The Padres started their fifth-inning rally innocently enough. Rookie Salazar led off with a single to center field, and Dave Winfield followed with his 14th homer of the year, a no-questions-asked shot to right that cut the margin to 5-3. Willie Montanez hit a single up the middle before starter and loser Nino Espinosa (3-4) got Jerry Mumphrey to fly to Garry Maddox in center. Stimac laid down a sacrifice bunt that Espinosa bobbled for an error, and after Ozzie Smith grounded out, Espinosa intentionally walked second baseman Tim Flannery to load the bases. Phils' shortstop Larry Bowa made the sec ond error of the inning, on pinch-hitter Broderick Crawford's grounder up the middle, which brought in Montanez and made the score 5-4.


With the bases still loaded, Espinosa threw two balls to Gene Richards, and Green had seen enough of the right-hander. He brought in lefty Kevin Saucier, who worked the count to 3-1 before Richards singled up the middle to drive in two runs and give the Padres the lead, at 6-5. Salazar followed with another hit, off of Dickie Noles, and the Padres had their winning margin.


"I kept hoping Nino could get them out," said Green. "I put Sauce in a bind letting Nino go 2-0. He (Espinosa) battled his butt off. We made two errors, but when he went 2-0 I had to go get him. I put Saucier in a situation, but I thought he could do it.


"We played two innings of offense, and that was it. They shut us down in the middle."


The Phillies looked like they were going to breeze to their second straight triumph over the Padres. Lonnie Smith led off the first with a solid single to right-center field, then took second on a wild pitch. Rose followed with a base hit through the box to score Smith, and hustled to take second on the throw home.


After Schmidt fanned, McBride hit another shot past Eichelberger to drive in Rose and make it 2-0. Trillo followed with yet another single up the middle, before being forced at second on Maddox' ground ball to third. Bowa's single to right field on an 0-2 pitch drove in McBride before Eichelberger intentionally walked Bob Boone to get to Espinosa.


That strategy blew up in the Padres' faces when Espinosa flared a single past the reach of Tim Flannery to drive in Trillo and Bowa and boost the lead to 5-0. Smith, batting for the second time in the inning, flied out to end the inning.


The Padres got one run back – on Montanez' RBI single in the third – before their sixth-inning onslaught.


PHIL-UPS – Smith's first-inning single gives the rookie a 10-game hitting streak, the longest of his career... Eichelberger missed a chance to be alone in the record books when he flied out to McBride in the second inning. Eichelberger had struck out in all 14 previous appearances this year, which ties him with Chicago's Bill Hanus, who achieved that dubious feat in 1968... Bob Walk (9-2) pitches against former Phil Rick Wise (4-5) in today's businesspersons special, which begins at 12:35... San Francisco follows the Padres into the Vet for a three-game series starting tomorrow, with Steve Carlton going for his 20th victory.