Wilmington Morning News - August 25, 1980

Bull’s return a blast as Phils rout Giants


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – The Bull is back. And so, fortunately for Dallas Green's disposition, is the Phillies' attack.


Whether the two are related is anybody's guess, but Greg Luzinski returned to the lineup, homered and helped the Phils to a 14-hit, 7-1 victory over San Francisco that averted a series sweep and put the Phils back in pursuit of the Pirates.


"It felt good to be back," said Luzinski. "I was swinging the bat good and I got a fastball over the plate to hit out (off loser Bob Knepper). No question I felt good. I hadn't played since July 5."


Arthroscopic surgery on his right knee followed, then an impatient recovery until the Phils discovered a way to get him back on the roster.


Green solved his dilemma of whom to scratch when reliever Kevin Saucier was discovered to have tendinitis in his left elbow. It was the same elbow that lasted five innings in Thursday's 17-inning marathon and another 1.3 innings Saturday night.


Saucier went on the 21-day disabled list before the game. So the Bull was back and no veteran necks felt the Phils' axe, though a few vets may have breathed a bit easier once Saucier's malady was diagnosed.


"I was just about to pull my hair out," said the manager. "I finally called in the 3-4 guys who had arm problems in the past and we talked individually about the status of their arms. I found that Kevin still had the tenderness in his arm from the tendonitis he had about a month ago."


The game featured a 14-hit Phillies' attack, including back-to-back homers by Mike Schmidt, the major-league leader, and Luzinski, as well as a farcical temper tantrum between Giants and umpires that bruised feelings, egos and anatomies in the fourth inning.


But more about that later.


Green was more anxious to talk about winner Dick Ruthven's pitching, which featured 19 ground balls and just seven Giant hits.


"That was more a Ruthven game," said Green. "Dick used all his stuff well."


Both teams scored in the third, the Giants once and the Phillies four times.


Johnnie LeMaster led off the third with a gapper to right center that right fielder Lonnie Smith tracked down at the wall as LeMaster headed for third.


Manny Trillo's relay caromed off the sliding LeMaster's foot and rolled into the Giants' dugout as LeMaster scored.


But the Phillies tore into Knepper, now 2-11 on the road, in their half of the third.


Smith started things by legging out a double to left center and scoring on Pete Rose's single to center.


Rose, who had three hits against three different pitchers last night, is now one hit shy of tying Tris Speaker for fourth place on the all-time hit list. Rose has 3,514.


“Tris is a pretty nice guy to catch," Rose said after the game.


Schmidt followed with his 35th homer down the left field line and stood watching as the ball curled around the foulpole.


Then Luzinski skied Knepper's next pitch off the tarps in left for his 16th homer and first since June 14 against San Diego.


"That's the fifth time this year we've hit back-to-back homers," said Luzinski. "When I was healthy, we put a pretty good month (May) together. If we can do that again, we could give this team a lift."


Ah, the merry month of May, when Schmidt batted .305 with 12 homers and 29 RBI, backed by the Bull's .312 average, 8 homers and 18 RBI.


Wouldn't a rerun be nice, eh, Dallas?


"We'll get Bull in there as much as we can and as much as his knee will let him," said Green, who faces the enviable task of choosing among three good hitters for two outfield spots.


The Phils added a pair of runs in the fourth, kayoing Knepper and setting the stage for the "Punch and Judy" – or, rather, the "Punch and Pulli" – show that enlivened things once the game, was decided.


Larry Bowa picked up his second single of the game, was balked to second and scored on Ruthven's triple off the right field wall. Smith's infield single scored Ruthven.


The slapstick show started when Rose drilled a shot to first that Mike Ivie speared, stepping on first for the out and firing to second, trying to double Smith.


Lonnie barreled into LeMaster, thinking he had to break up a double play. Fortunately for Smith, he didn't overslide the base and was called safe by umpire Eric Gregg, who immediately signaled time out.


Smith looked up, saw Gregg's upstretched arm and, figuring he'd been called out, jogged toward the Phils' dugout. Once he realized he was indeed safe, Smith sheepishly returned to second – and ignited a Giant protest that resulted in a protested game.


"Where did he think Smith was going, to get a towel?" asked Giant manager Dave Bristol. "Smith told our guy he thought he was forced – he thought he was out."


Gregg ruled he'd called time out on his own, so the Giants' protestations seemed in vain. But pitching coach Don McMahon continued to bait home plate umpire Frank Pulli, who finally ejected McMahon.


Bristol rushed out, followed by McMahon, who was poked in the eye by Pulli during their jaw-to-jaw screaming match.


When Bristol continued the debate, Pulli thumbed him, too. And while Bristol vehemently gestured, he inadvertently slapped Pulli in the face.


“Pulli called Don a (vulgar) name and I thought Don was going to choke him," said Bristol, who found everything else hard to swallow last night, too.


EXTRA INNINGS – Knepper's only two road victories came against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium... Rose tied Frank Robinson for ninth place on the all-time runs-scored list with No. 1,829 and Speaker for 10th on the games-played list with 2,789... Manny Trillo has hit in 11 straight games, one shy of club high... Channel 17 has added three West Coast games to its schedule – Sept. 2-3 at San Francisco and Sept. 4 at Los Angeles, all beginning at 10:35 p.m.... Nino Espinosa vs. the Dodgers' Jerry Reuss (15-4) tonight at 7:35 as L.A. opens a three-game set.