Wilmington Morning News - May 12, 1980

Ruthven (sigh) buoys Phils’ pitching outlook


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


CINCINNATI - The Phillies are breathing a little easier about Dick Ruthven today.


Ruthven, who a week ago was one of Manager Dallas Green's main pitching concerns, pitched seven strong innings yesterday as the Phils whipped Cincinnati 7-3 to salvage one victory in the three-game set.


"I have to be encouraged," said Green after the triumph which balanced the Phils' record at 12-12. "Dick’s fastball was really popping today and he had a good breaking pitch."


"I felt much more in command today," said Ruthven, who has not completed a game since May 9, 1979 when he one-hit San Diego. "I thought I had good velocity on my fastball and the fact I did not walk anybody says something about my control."


Ruthven struck out eight. In addition, the Reds did not steal a base – one of the problems Rufus has been bothered by in earlier games.


The victory ended an 11-game losing streak to the Reds. He defeated them the first time he ever faced them, he won 1-0 – on April 28, 1973. Since then, he has lost all 11 decisions.


"It's about time I won a game against Cincinnati," said Ruthven, whose record is now 3-2. "I figured sooner or later I would end that streak."


Ruthven was lifted for a pinch hitter after the seventh inning, with Dickie Noles taking over. Noles allowed just a walk in the eighth, but a walk to catcher Don Werner, an infield out, and Cesar Geronimo's single to center brought home the third run.


"Dickie had a little trouble with his control, but he did a good job," said Green. "He comes out of the bullpen and does everything we ask of him."


The Phils, out-hit by the Reds 11-9, made the most of their offense. Ruthven helped his own cause with two runs batted in and second baseman Manny Trillo, back in the line-up, had two RBI.


"I'm happy to get out of here with at least one win," said Green. "We could have won all three games, that is the only distasteful thing about this."


Two unearned runs in the second inning gave the Phils a 2-0 lead against loser Mike LaCoss. They upped that to 5-0 and sent the right-hander to the showers with three in the third.


Bob Boone opened the second with a single to center. He was forced at second by Greg Gross, but both Gross and Larry Bowa were safe when Junior Kennedy bobbled Bowa's grounder for an error.


Manny Trillo, back in the line-up for the first time since April 19, advanced the runners with an infield out, but Ruthven followed with a sharp single to right and it was 2-0.


Back-to-back singles by Bake McBride and Mike Schmidt and a walk to Greg Luzinski loaded the bases in the third. McBride scored when Luzinski was forced at second by Boone's grounder and the play was repeated when Gross forced Boone at second with Schmidt scoring. Consecutive singles by Bowa and Trillo brought the third run home.


Davey Concepcion started the sixth with a double to left and, with two out, scored on Dan Driessen's double to the gap in left-center.


The Phils scored their sixth run without a hit.


Pete Rose waited out a walk from reliever Mario Soto and then promptly put on a stolen-base show. With McBride batting, he stole second. Before Schmidt walked, he dashed to third and then worked a delayed a steal of home when Schmidt stole second.


Bowa opened the eighth against reliever Doug Bair with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Trillo's single to right.


Pinch-hitter Harry Spillman slammed the first home run of his career with one out in the seventh for the Reds' second run.


EXTRA POINTS - Schmidt had hit safely in 10 of 11 games, while McBride has an eight-game hitting streak... Phils' pinch hitters are 12 for their last 22 at-bats... The Reds' Dave Collins and Kim Davis of Dayton will be married tonight... The Reds had beaten the Phils 28 times in the last 35 regular-season games played at Riverfront before yesterday... Garry Maddox sat out his second straight game after returning to the line-up on Friday night... The ankle he sprained on May 3 was bothering him a little yesterday... The Phils left after the game for Atlanta... Today is an open date, but Green has a workout planned for the afternoon during which Nino Espinosa will pitch in a simulated game... Larry Christenson will work the first game of the twosome against the graves, facing Doyle Alexander... Green is undecided who will pitch Wednesday against Larry McWilliams... On Thursday, the Phils play an exhibition game at Oklahoma City, then continue on to Houston for three weekend games.