Doylestown Daily Intelligencer - July 18, 1980

Phils Continue To Stop Astros


Carlton Wins 15th


By the Associated Press


HOUSTON (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the few teams able to win consistently against the Houston Astros. And they did it again in the Astrodome Thursday night.


Steve Carlton was on the mound for the Phillies and as tough as he's been on everyone this year, he's always been rough on the Astros.


The Philly lefthander upped his season record to 15-4 and his lifetime mark against the Astros to 28-9 with a seven-hitter that produced a 2-1 win for Philadelphia.


Only four times this season have the Astros been taken in three-game home series, and the Phillies have done it twice. Of Houston's 14 home losses, four have come from Philadelphia.


Houston Manager Bill Virdon doesn't consider Carlton's mastery of the Astros a matter of intimidation. "It's just a matter of him being better than we've been," he said.


"Good lefthanders will beat anybody, and he's one of the best''


Philadelphia catcher Bob Boone said it wasn't one of Carlton's better efforts this year, but that was partly because of problems with the mound.


"He didn't have a real good game." Boone said "The mound had a flat spot and it was like pitching uphill. We had to use more fastballs tonight, but he had a good slider, too."


Philly Manager Dallas Green was pleased to escape the Astrodome with two wins.


"We're playing a little better right now," Green said. "The pitching has been real good for us, and that's always 85 to 90 percent of a ballgame in the Dome. It was a darned good performance when we needed it."


Green hasn't found the Astros a particularly easy target for Carlton "He's had as much success against everybody. He's got the best stuff I've seen In a long time. He's consistent every time you run him out there."


Bake McBride saw that Carlton would be a winner by scoring both Phllly runs. McBride struck first in the fourth inning after a single and a stolen base when losing pitcher Joe Nlekro, 10-8, uncorked a pair of wild pitches.


In the sixth, McBride singled and stole again, went to third on Garry Maddox's single and came home on Boone's groundout.


The Astros, who fell from first place In the National League West with the toss, got a run in the ninth. Luis Pujols singled to lead off the inning, and Rafael Landestoy's two-out triple to left center brought Pujols home


Carlton. who struck out 10 and walked three, got Terry Puhl to ground out to clinch the victory


Astro leftflelder Jose Cruz bruised his left leg and hip in a collision with centerfielder Cesar Cedeno In the fourth inning Cruz, the Astros' RBI leader with 52 and a .306 hitter, was to undergo X-rays Friday morning, team officials said.