Camden Courier-Post - August 31, 1980
Phillies drive into first place
By Hal Bodley, Gannett News Service
SAN DIEGO – In the fourth inning of a game led by the Phillies 2-1, San Diego's Dave Winfield opened with a screaming triple to right field.
Dick Ruthven glared at the runner who was dancing around third, then promptly put the next three batters down quickly.
Willie Montanez grounded out, Jerry Mumphrey flied out to left and Bill Fahey grounded out to second.
"After that, I turned the cruise control on," Dick Ruthven kidded after his arm and bat lifted the Phils to an easy 6-1 conquest of the Padres in the opener of a doubleheader last night at San Diego Stadium. "Getting out of that jam and being able to protect the 2-1 lead set the pattern for everything else."
Ruthven then turned in a routinely professional complete game that vaulted the Phils into first place in the National League East for at least a few hours.
The Phils' first-game victory, coupled with Pittsburgh's afternoon loss to Cincinnati and the Dodgers' victory over Montreal last night, put the Phils on top with a 68-58 record and percentage of .540. Montreal is second at 69-59, .539, followed by Pittsburgh at 70-60, .538.
"I guess some of the guys were watching the score from Los Angeles, but if I did that, I would have screwed up everything else," said Ruthven, who improved his record to 13-8 with his 11th career victory over San Diego. I guess I made it exciting in the early innings, but after I got out of the fourth I was in a good groove."
In addition to Ruthven's eight-hitter and his sixth complete game of the year, he cracked a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning when the Phils put the game away, scoring four times.
"The ball just hit my bat," said Ruthven, who attempted to pull off a suicide squeeze and fouled off the first pitch. "I just tried to drive the ball."
"If the first pitch had been a ball, we would have tried the squeeze again,” said Manager Dallas Green. "When he fouled off the pitch, I took off the squeeze.
"I thought Dick pitched out of two really tough jams. He pitched a strong game, just what we needed at this stage of the season. Although our bullpen is rested, it's always nice to get a complete game."
When the Padres threatened in the eighth inning, reliever Ron Reed was throwing in the bullpen.
"When I went to the mound, I wanted to be strong enough so nobody had to get up in the pen," said Ruthven. "When Reed got up, I was a little upset. I wanted to complete the game.
"I think the key is going to be the second game. We have a tendency to lose some interest after winning the first game of a doubleheader. But, knowing we can be up by game in the division, should help."
The Phils broke the first game open when they sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning and scored four runs and it was Ruthven's booming two-run, bases-loaded double that did most of the damage.
The Phils nursed a 2-1 lead until the sixth, built on single runs scored in the second and third innings off lefthanded starter Bob Shirley.
The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the first when Gene Richards doubled to center, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on Dave Winfield's infield out.
The Phils retaliated in the second. With two down, Larry Bowa singled to center and raced home on Bob Boone's double to left.
Again with two out, the Phils scored in the third. Mike Schmidt doubled to left and dashed across the plate on Greg Luzinski's single to center.
Luzinski opened the sixth with a single to left and stopped at second when Manny Trillo ended an 0-for-13 with a single to right. With Greg Gross sent in to run for Luzinski, Garry Maddox was ordered to bunt. Instead, Maddox waited out a walk to load the bases.
San Diego Manager Jerry Coleman had seen enough of Shirley, now 9-10, and called on Mike Armstrong.
The count went 3-0 to Bowa, who then looked at a called strike. Bowa lofted Armstrong's 3-1 delivery in front of the Phils dugout, an easy play for Luis Salazar.
Boone walked on four pitches to bring home Gross and up came Ruthven who tried to suicide squeeze on the first pitch, but fouled it off. The pitcher then lined the next delivery to the foot of the wall in right-center, Trillo and Maddox scoring.
Lonnie Smith walked to again load the bases and Coleman called on Dennis Kinney, the lefthander who worked 9⅓ innings before losing that 17-inning marathon in Philadelphia on Aug. 21.