Wilmington Evening Journal - June 17, 1980

Trillo strikes back at Sutcliffe, L.A.


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


LOS ANGELES – Manny Trillo stepped Into the batter's box and cocked his head toward the mound. Rick Sutcliffe stared toward home plate and for an instance they resembled two combatants ready to go at it in a back alley.


But this was Dodger Stadium last night. What had grown into a superb game came down to this 12th-inning confrontation: the Phillies' Manny Trillo vs. the Dodgers' Rick Sutcliffe.


Trillo sent reliever Sutcliffe's pitch screaming to the gap in right-center, Larry Bowa dashed home from second base and a few tense minutes later Philadelphia wobbled off the field with an Inspiring 3-2 victory over Los Angeles.


It was just about 13 months ago Trillo went to bat against Sutcliffe in this palace with the end result being a broken hand and 40 games of inactivity for the second baseman.


"Sure, what happened last year crossed my mind tonight," said Trillo after the Phils' fourth victory in a row. "Getting hit on the hand that night is something I will never be able to forget, but I couldn't let it bother me tonight. I just wanted to make contact. I wanted to at least hit a fly ball and I was lucky. I got a double."


Had the Phillies not scratched for their first overtime success of the season, an outstanding pitching performance by left-hander Randy Lerch would have gone down the drain.


Ron Reed, who worked only the 11th inning, gained his third victory in as many decisions and Tug McGraw recorded his 65th save with the Phillies to tie Dick Farrell for first place on the club's all-time list.


But Randy Lerch, so ineffective last Wednesday night Manager Dallas Green openly scolded him on the mound, turned it around. Lerch pitched 10 innings, allowing only two runs and seven hits.


The Dodgers scored two runs in the third off Lerch, but the Phils pulled even in the fourth and for the rest of the night the crowd of 41,340 was treated to outstanding baseball.


Jerry Reuss, who like Sutcliffe committed a costly balk, pitched 10 solid innings before turning the game over to the right-handed reliever.


"It was just a great, great game to win and a fine way to start this road trip," said Green, who admitted he had lectured Lerch after last week's start. "You just won't see a a better defensive game. Both teams made some outstanding plays."


Privately, Green was most pleased with the sudden turn-around of the 25-year-old Lerch. He entered the game with a 2-8 record and a 5.01 earned run average.


"Watching him pitch tonight it's hard for me to believe he is 2-8," added Green. "He went out there tonight wanting to win. He had good demeanor on the mound, something he has lacked in the past. We told him he is a fastball pitcher and to throw fastballs. He did that tonight, then had his breaking balls ready for key situations. Now, we have to hope he will come back in four days and show us some consistency."


"I was mentally and physically ready tonight," said Lerch. "The last time I pitched it was just a matter of having no idea of what I was supposed to do. It was my fault, but it was also very frustrating. This was a good game for me at a time when the team needed a strong pitching performance."


After threats were choked off in the ninth and 11th innings, the Phils mounted their go-ahead assault with one out in the 12th.


Bowa, who had gone hitless in four previous at-bats, drilled a single to right. With Trillo batting, Sutcliff balked, allowing Bowa to take second. Trillo, who played one game against Sutcliffe after he returned from the disabled list last year, doubled and Bowa easily scored.


To his embarrassment, however, Trillo was doubled off second when pinch-hitter Bob Boone lofted a fly to center off the Dodgers' second reliever, Steve Howe.


"I thought there were two out," said Trillo. "That was stupid. I just wasn't concentrating."


Maybe the scoreboard was wrong," somebody teased.


"No, my head was wrong," said Trillo.


McGraw took over for Reed in the 12th and got in immediate trouble when Ron Cey singled to center and the speedy Rudy Law was sent in to run. Derrel Thomas, attempting to bunt, hit a low pop down the first-base line. McGraw charged the ball, apparently overran it, and tumbled to the ground with the ball somewhere under him.


Law, not certain whether Tug had caught it, was late heading for second and was thrown out. McGraw got the next two batters and the Phils had their first extra-inning success after two losses.


"To me one of the key plays of the night was More-land throwing out Davey Lopes in the 10th," said Green.


With two out, Lopes singled to center and with Bill Russell batting, attempted to steal second. Rookie catcher Keith Moreland rifled a bullet to Bowa and the runner was cut down.


"It was a good play for me," said Bowa. "I tagged Lopes on the head. I hit him so hard, I thought the ball was going to pop out of my glove."


Lopes' single, an infield out and Reggie Smith's single !ave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead In the third. Steve Garvey allowed with a booming double to right-center. Lonnie Smith sent his whole right side crashing against the fence in an attempt to catch it and when he fell to the ground, most everyone in the park thought he was seriously injured. He regained consciousness and stayed in the game until after he batted in the fourth. After that, Bake McBride, who made a running catch on pinch-hitter Joe Ferguson's liner, took over.


The Phils tied at 2-2 when Pete Rose singled and went to third on Mike Schmidt's double. It was here, with Greg Luzinski batting, that Reuss balked, allowing Schmidt to score and Rose to take third. Rose came home on Luzinski's sacrifice.


EXTRA POINTS – Boone did not start last night because he is suffering from a severe cold... Bowa was charged with his sixth error of the season in the eighth inning. The shortstop had only six errors all last year... The Phils, who were 10-8 against West Coast teams last year, are 3-1 against the Dodgers so far this season... In Reed's last 15 outings, he has allowed only four earned runs... McBride's eight-game hitting streak came to a end... Lonnie Smith's right rib-cage area was hurting, but no X-rays were planned... Dickie Notes leaves the bullpen tonight to go against Dave Goltz(3-5, 4.84)... The Phils will leave after the garni for San Diego and two games with the Padres.