Corpus Christi Caller - May 19, 1980

‘Real’ Ryan Express derails Philadelphia


By Michael A. Lutz, AP Sports Writer


HOUSTON – Houston's million-dollar pitcher, Nolan Ryan finally gave the Astros what they'd been waiting for, striking out a season-high 10 Philadelphia batters Sunday and allowing only four hits in a 3-0 shutout that ended a five-game losing streak.


Ryan, 2-3, hit 98 miles per hour with three of his pitches, but said his breaking pitch was the difference.


"Sometimes your reputation precedes you," Ryan said. “If somebody's expecting my fast ball and my breaking stuff is working, it might cause them trouble.”


Ryan caused the Phillies plenty of trouble, allowing only one runner to reach third base, on a fifth-inning triple by Manny Trillo.


He walked pinch-hitter Greg Gross and yielded a single to Pete Rose to start the eighth inning but then thrilled the crowd by striking out the next three batters.


Ryan’s 10 strikeouts marked a season high.


"I’ve always been better in the latter parts of the game," Ryan said. "I get in a groove and for some reason I don’t get tired.”


Rafael Landestoy and Terry Puhl hit run-scoring singles in the second inning to provide Ryan with all the cushion he needed.


Landestoy led off the first inning with a single off Randy Lerch, 0-6, was sacrificed to second by Puhl and scored the first run on Jeff Leonard’s single.


Luis Pujols doubled and Ryan walked with one out in the second inning before Landestoy and Puhl hit consecutive singles to add two Houston runs.


Philadelphia didn't mount a scoring threat until the fifth when Manny Trillo hit a two-out triple over Cesar Cedeno’s head in center field. But pinch-hitter George Vukovich grounded out to end the inning.