Reading Eagle - June 7, 1980

Rose A Hit With Gomez


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pete Rose is the consummate professional.


Even his opponents recognize that.


Chicago Cubs’ manager Preston Gomez took time after his club lost a 6-5 decision to the Philadelphia Phillies to admire Rose, the Phillies’ 39-year-old first baseman.


Rose, who doubled in the first inning to drive in a run, twice was hit by pitcher Mike Krukow.  He had to leave the game in the seventh because of pain in his right toe.


“It shows what a professional he is,” said Gomez of Rose, who now has hit in 10 of his last 11 games.


“Somebody else makes a big thing out of it.  He runs to first base.  That’s the kind of player he is,” said Gomez.


Rose applied ice to the damaged toe and said he’d play tonight if his name is on the lineup card.


“I know I’ll have to fight him (Rose) to keep him out tomorrow,” said Phillies’ manager Dallas Green.


Rose took out his anger on a helmet.  He banged it to the ground.  It had a hole in it and was cracked in three or four other places.


Rose didn’t want to talk about his experience.  He told reporters to give rookie Lonnie Smith his due.  Smith had three hits, including a triple that drove home the Phillies’ fifth and sixth runs.


There was some thought that the Phillies were showcasing Smith as part of a trade for a much needed starting pitcher.  Or they could be testing the waters to see if the rookie who hit .315 and .330 in the minors the last two seasons could play regularly and make one of the regular outfielders trade bait.


Whatever, Smith says he thought about those things, but doesn’t let it worry him.


“I have confidence I can play in the majors,” said Smith.  “If it (a trade) happens it happens.  But I’d rather play with this team (the Phillies).”


Green is a Smith fan.


“Lonnie is a pretty good offensive player.  He makes things happen.  The kid can play,” Green said.


That can be interpreted as a vote of confidence or a sales pitch.  Take your choice.


The Phillies, who now have won 12 of their last 16 games, took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.  Smith singled and Rose drove him across, Bake McBride walked, and was doubled home by Greg Luzinski.  Larry Bowa doubled in Luzinski.


Chicago closed to 3-2 in the third on a single by Ivan DeJesus, Larry Biittner’s double, and a two-run single by Dave Kingman, extending his hitting streak through seven games.


Philadelphia added a fourth run in the fourth on a Smith double, and an eventual sacrifice fly, and two more in the fifth on Manny Trillo’s two out triple, a walk to winning pitcher Bob Walk and Smith’s triple.


Walk earned his first major league victory, although he gave up 10 hits in 5-2/3 innings.  Kevin Saucier got the final out in the sixth.