Reading Eagle - August 25, 1980
Bull’s Return Real Blast
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – “He showed he can still hit ‘em,” said Dallas Green.
“He” is Greg Luzinski, the Philadelphia Phillies’ slugging left fielder. Luzinski returned to action Sunday night after 50 days on the disabled list with an injured knee.
The “Bull,” as Luzinski is affectionately known to the public, socked a home run his second time at bat. Green used Luzinski for only five innings of a 7-1 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.
“He did well for five innings and I didn’t want to rush him too much,” Green explained.
Luzinski’s home run came on the first pitch after Mike Schmidt had hit his major league leading 35th homer, the fifth time this season the two put on their consecutive get lost act.
Schmidt’s homer came with one on and with Luzinski’s blast triggered a four-run third inning that overcame a 1-0 deficit. They made a loser of Bob Knepper, 9-15.
The runs helped Dick Ruthven to his 12th win in 20 decisions as the righthander allowed just seven hits. The Giants’ only run came on a triple by Johnnie LeMaster, who scored when the relay went into the dugout.
The Phillies added two more in the fourth, Ruthven knocking in one with a triple and Lonnie Smith the other with the first of three hits.
Green moved Smith from left to right field to make room for Luzinski. Bake McBride got the night off to rest a pair of aching knees.
Green said he planned to rotate his outfielders according to which of them were hitting, and who was the opposing pitcher.
That didn’t seem to bother Luzinski, who said: “We’re here as a team to win this thing. Lonnie had done a great job. If the manager wants to rotate that’s his job.”
On his back-to-back act with Schmidt, Luzinski commented: “When I was healthy we had a pretty good month together. Maybe we can do it again and give this club a lift.”
Luzinski said he wasn’t upset that it took the Phillies almost a week to activate him after the doctor said he was ready to play.
The outfielder said he realized the club had a problem trying to decide where to cut the roster, and that the extra days may have helped his knee.
The Phillies placed relief pitcher Kevin Saucier on the disabled list, announcing that Saucier had tendinitis.
Saucier’s problem certainly was sudden. He pitched Saturday night and in Thursday afternoon’s 17-inning game. If he had an arm problem he must have left it in his locker.
Luzinski said he felt fine after his five-inning tour, no discomfort in the knee except for a little stiffness. He said the real test would be today to see if there was any reaction to the pounding on the artificial surface.
Luzinski’s home run was his 16th of the season. In his first at bat he popped out to left field, and in the fifth, he slashed a grounder on his second baseman Rennie Stennett made a fine play.
Other Phillies notes of consequence were Manny Trillo’s second inning hit which extended his hitting streak through 11 games, and a couple more milestones for Pete Rose.
Rose tied Tris Speaker (2,789) for 10th place on the all-time games played list, and Frank Robinson (1,829) for ninth place on the all-time runs scored list. He’s now just one hit behind Speaker for 4th player on the all-time hits list.
San Francisco manager Dave Bristol and pitching coach Dom McMahon both were ejected by homeplate umpire Frank Pulli during an argument on a called strike.