Corpus Christi Times - July 31, 1980
Ex-Longhorn turns on Astros
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Most major league teams consider themselves extremely fortunate if they come up with one rookie in a season.
The Philadelphia Phillies struck it rich in 1980. They’ve come up with two — Lonnie Smith and Keith Moreland.
Moreland, who helped the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-4 triumph over the Houston Astros Wednesday night, was the team’s No. 7 draft pick in the 1975 selection meeting.
After just five professional seasons, the 26-year-old former Texas Longhorn, Moreland has matured into a major league receiver. He is hitting .333, throwing out runners, handling pitchers like a veteran, and has given the Phillies a solid backup to veteran Bob Boone.
Smith is the young outfielder who is hitting .349, and has stolen 17 bases. He's filling the void left by the disablement of Greg Luzinski.
The Astros-Phillies contest was up for grabs in the fifth inning when Moreland lashed a bases loaded single.
The single scored two and sent the Phillies ahead 4-3 and on their way to the 6-4 victory over the National League West Division leading Astros.
Garry Maddox followed with another two-run single and the game was in the bag for the Phillies and Dick Ruthven, who earned his 10th triumph in 17 decisions.
Ruthven only went seven innings in the intense heat, but reliever Tug McGraw came on to stifle the Astros and was credited with his ninth save.
The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on a single by Craig Reynolds after a single, fielder’s choice and two walks had loaded the bases on Ruthven.
The Phillies came right back and tied it in the bottom of the inning on Bake McBride’s second single, a walk to Mike Schmidt and a single by Maddox and double by Manny Trillo.
The Astros went ahead in the fifth on a single by Jeff Leonard, Ruthven’s two base pickoff error, and a single by Joe Morgan.
Then came the Phillies’ big fifth that clinched the game.
Other National League action last night:
Last year, Pat Zachry’s right elbow was shot. Last month, so was John Fulgham’s right shoulder. On Wednesday, they were shooting blanks.
Zachry, completely healed from surgery last August, tossed his second successive shutout, baffling Atlanta on four hits as the New York Mets blanked the Braves 3-0.
And Fulgham, who spent some time in the minors last June and altered his pitching motion to adjust for a sore shoulder, stifled San Francisco on five hits as the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Giants 4-0.
Elsewhere Wednesday in the National League, Los Angeles silenced Pittsburgh 3-0 on Jerry Reuss’ four-hitter, Philadelphia beat Houston 6-4, Montreal edged Cincinnati 2-1, and San Diego downed Chicago 5-2.
Zachry, who underwent surgery for the removal of the ulnar nerve in his right elbow 11 months ago, didn't come off the disabled list until this May 3.
Doug Flynn’s second-inning single gave Zachry the only run he needed. In the eighth, the Mets got two runs on Mike Jorgensen's RBI single and Gary Matthews' wild throw from the outfield on the hit.
“I just wish we'd had him all season,” St Louis Manager Whitey Herzog said of Fulgham. Then he thought for a momet and added, “but if we did, I guess I might not be here now.’’
On June 7, Fulgham went on the disabled list. On June 8, Ken Boyer was fired and on June 9 Herzog replaced him as the manger of the Cards.
“Whitey and Claude Osteen, our pitching coach, were very patient with me,” said Fulgham “This was the first time all year I've pitched without some pain… That injury is all behind me now.”
Jerry Reuss used to look forward to beating the Pirates, the team which had traded him away after the 1978 season. Now, though revenge is sweet, it is no longer meaningful.
“I’ve kind of lost track of all of that,” Reuss said after stopping the Bucs on a four-hitter. “That’s because so many good things have happened this year… being the winning pitcher in the All-Star game, pitching five shutouts and the no-hitter. Besides, that’s negative thinking.”
Like Moreland, Montreal pinch-hitter Tony Bernazard knew what he wanted when he came to bat with the score tied and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"I figured the first pitch was as good a pitch to hit as any," he said after pounding Dave Tomlin's offering over left fielder George Foster's head. “I didn’t care where I hit it as long as it went somewhere.”