Reading Eagle - May 3, 1980
Phillies Win ‘Beautiful’
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Phillies manager Dallas Green doesn’t care how you color them as long as the game comes up a winner.
After the Phillies struggled to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 Friday night, someone said to Green, “it wasn’t pretty.”
Green leaned back in his chair and retorted: “I thought it was beautiful. What the heck was wrong with it?”
The question, of course, was prompted by the Phillies blowing a 5-2 late inning lead, then coming back in the bottom of the eight to score four with the help of four walks and two run singles by pinchhitter Greg Gross and Bake McBride.
The loss snapped a 10-game Dodgers’ April winning streak, the club’s longest since it was known as the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.
Steve Garvey tied the game at five with a two-run homer off reliever Ron Reed in the eighth. Reed gave up a run in the seventh on consecutive doubles by pinchhitter Rick Monday and Davey Lopes, extending his hitting streak through six games.
Reliever Charlie Hough struck out Mike Schmidt to start the Phillies’ eighth. Then he walked Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone and unleashed a wild pitch advancing the runners. He got the second out on a pop-up, but walked Luis Aguayo to load the bases.
Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda never stirred in the dugout. He had determined to stay with Hough, who is tough against hitters from both sides of the plate.
Green send Gross to bat for Reed. Gross has been in a slump. He had just three hits in his previous 21 at bats.
“Nothing worries a singles hitter more than a slump,” said Gross after he had delivered the game-winning single, a line drive off a two-ball, one-strike pitch over the head of shortstop Bill Russell.
“I’ve been watching films and noticed I’ve been standing too far from the plate,” Gross said.
“I hit a sinking fastball. It was a good pitch, a groundball pitch. But I just got enough of it to get it over Russell,” Gross said. “I was afraid he would catch it.”
The runs scored off Hough, a knuckleball specialist, were the first off Dodgers’ relievers in 11 games over 16 and two-thirds innings.
“He’s given up just one earned run this season,” said Lasorda of Hough. “I had to give him a chance to get the guy (Gross) out.”
Earlier, the Phillies built a 5-2 lead on Mike Schmidt’s two-run homer in the first, an RBI double by McBride in the second, and Luzinski’s two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Luzinski’s homer came after the Dodgers had scored on in the third on Reggie Smith’s homer, and another in the sixth on Smith’s double and two ground outs.
It was the fifth of the season for Schmidt, Luzinski and Smith. Smith extended his batting streak through seven games and accounted for an RBI in his eighth straight contest.
Dick Ruthven left after the second rain delay of the game, leading 5-2 through six innings. Reed relieved and gave up the three runs that tied the game.
Even after the Phillies went ahead, 9-5, the Dodgers made it scary in the ninth, loading the bases on reliever Dickie Noles. With two outs, Noles threw a tailing fastball that Garvey skied high to Gross in left for the last out.