Camden Courier-Post - May 3, 1980
Phils rally, top Dodgers; Gross stars
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – Greg Gross' bases-loaded, pinch-hit single with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Phillies to a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night before 45,767 damp fans in Veterans Stadium.
The hit snapped a 5-5 tie and brought the Dodgers' winning streak to a close at 10 games. Knuckleballing reliever Charlie Hough, who had worked a scoreless seventh, got into trouble when he issued successive walks to Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone with one out in the decisive inning.
"He had been struggling mentally, but that hit helped him," said Phillies' Manager Dallas Green. "With Hough pitching, Gross is a contact hitter and that's what we needed in that situation."
Hough induced Larry Bowa to pop up, but walked No. 8 hitter Luis Aguayo to load the bases. Gross worked a 2-1 count, then lined his two-run single over the head of shortstop Bill Russell. The runs were the first given up by the Dodger bullpen in 18⅓ innings.
"He's (Hough) a guy who looks like you're never going to get to him, then, all of a sudden, he goes like he did," said Dallas Green. "It was obvious he was struggling with his control, but knowing Tommy (Dodger Manager Tom LaSorda) he wanted to give him a pat on the back and let him get the third out."
Bake McBride provided some cushion with a two-run single off Joe Beckwith, who had replaced Hough after he walked Pete Rose on four pitches.
Dickie Notes, the third Phils pitcher in a game delayed a total of 94 minutes by rain, loaded the bases in the ninth on two walks and a single, but retired Steve Garvey, who had homered in his previous at bat, on a fly ball to left field to end the game.
The win not only marked the first time since the beginning of the season that the Phils put together back-to-back victories, it served to spoil the homecoming of former Manager Danny Ozark, now the Dodgers' third base coach.
The Dodgers tied the score, 5-5, in the eighth inning off reliever Ron Reed when Garvey slammed a 3-1 pitch over the right-center field fence with Reggie Smith on first. Reed, in his first appearance since April 22, opened the inning by walking Smith, then fell behind Garvey, 3-0. Reed got one strike past Garvey before watching his next pitch land beyond the 371-foot sign.
Luzinski slugged a towering two-run home run in the sixth inning that, quite literally, brought rain. Mike Schmidt led off the inning with a single to center. Luzinski followed by lofting a 2-0 pitch from Dodger starter Rick Sutcliffe into the left field seats. The shot gave the Phils a 5-2 lead and triggered a 41-minute rain delay, the game's second.
The Dodgers bad cut the Phils' lead to 3-2 in the top half of the inning when Smith greeted Dick Ruthven with a double to left. Garvey advanced Smith to third with a ground ball to the right side and Smith scored on Dusty Baker's grounder to short.
Ruthven had just completed a watershed inning in the fifth, retiring the Dodgers in order. It was the first time this season the righthander had retired a side one-two-three, ending a streak of 21 innings in which Ruthven allowed at least one base runner.
"That looked a lot more like Dick," said Green. "He had a good fast ball and a sharp breaking ball."
Neither Ruthven nor Sutcliffe survived the rain delay, Ruthven being replaced in the seventh by Reed, who gave up a pinchhit double to Rick Monday and an RBI double to Davey Lopes, making it 5-3 going into the home seventh.
The stage had been set for a shelling that would have made Veterans Stadium look like Normandy beach on D Day. The Dodgers had brought with them a 10-game winning streak in which they had out-scored the opposition, 45-17. And the Phillies, who's been hitting with all the authority of a Jimmy Carter directive, generously provided Ruthven as ammunition.
With a 9.56 earned run" average going into the game, Ruthven seemed a prime candidate for a cameo mound appearance, surviving just long enough for the Dodgers to hone their batting strokes.
But whatever bombs the Dodgers thought they might drop on the Phils and Ruthven fizzled in the early innings. Ruthven permitted a reasonable four hits, including Smith's fifth home run of the season in the third inning, and was around long enough to return to the mound after after a 53-minute rain delay.
The rain halted play as the Dodgers came to bat in the fourth with the Phils leading, 3-1. They had given Ruthven a 2-0 lead in the first inning when, with two out, Garry Maddox walked, stole second and trotted home in front of Schmidt, who ripped a Sutcliffe changeup over the leftfield fence for his fifth homer of the year.
Ruthven himself scored in the second, singling with two out and moving into scoring position when Pete Rose reached first base on catcher's interference by Mike Scioscia. Bake McBride followed with a double to right that Rose – running through third base coach Lee Elia's stop sign – attempted to score on. He did not, getting thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay from Smith to Lopes to Scioscia.
PHIL UPS – Schmidt's homer in the first gave him his first RBIs since hitting a ninth-inning grand slam against the Mets April 22... Rose, one of the many struggling Phillie hitters, went into the game hitting .315 on the road, .133 at home... Luzinski went into the game with two hits in his previous 22 at bats... The top five hitters in the Phillie lineup, a list that includes Rose, McBride, Maddox, Schmidt, Luzinski, Gross and Lonnie Smith, was 19-for-114 during the previous six games... Last Tuesday's rained out game with the Mets is scheduled to be played as part of a Sunday doublebeader Aug. 17 in Shea Stadium... Series against Dodgers resumes this afternoon with Larry Christenson opposing Burt Hooton.