Reading Eagle - May 4, 1980

Phils’ Power Eases Pain


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Larry Christenson did a pretty good job for a pitcher who was concerned that any move might send him back to the doctor.


Christenson, a Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander, worked 6-2/3 innings in a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday for his second victory in two decisions.


His teammates made it easy for him with a six-hit, six-run burst in the second inning, including consecutive home runs by Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski.


“I had a pulled groin, and before the game doing stretching exercises, I felt a twinge,” said Christenson.  “I knew I still had it.  I tried to be as careful as I could.  I didn’t want to hurt it again and have another complete setback.”


Back Problems


Christenson also has a chronic back ailment, last year broke a collarbone, during the off-season had an operation for the removal of a bone spur and pulled a hamstring in spring training.


Christenson said his fastball and slider and location were excellent and the six-run second inning was relaxing.


“And the Dodgers weren’t stinging the ball, the way the Dodgers usually do,” he added.  “I’m a little tired but I don’t feel anything in the groin area.”


Christenson pitched scoreless and hitless ball through four innings, but had to be lifted in the seventh with one Los Angeles run in and the bases loaded and two outs.


LaGrow in Relief


Lerrin LaGrow, who played out his option with the Dodgers last season, relieved and allowed another run on an infield hit, then retired hot-hitting Reggie Smith for the final out of the inning.


Schmidt opened the Philadelphia second with a home run and before the inning was over, 11 men batted and Dodger starter Burt Hooton, 2-2, had left in favor of Bobby Castillo.  Luzinski followed Schmidt with a homer, the sixth of the season for each.


Then Bob Boone tripled and scored on Larry Bowa’s single.  Bowa stole second and tallied on a single by Luis Aguayo.  After a sacrifice, Pete Rose walked and Bake McBride singled in Aguayo with the fifth run.  Hooton left and Garry Maddox delivered the final tally with a sacrifice fly.


Philadelphia boosted the lead to 7-0 in the fourth on a single by Christenson, who hobbled to first, virtually trotted to third on Rose’s double and ambled home on another Maddox sacrifice fly.


Maddox Hurt


The Dodgers picked up their final run in the ninth inning when Mike Scioscia opened with a triple on which Maddox injured his right ankle and was forced to leave the game.  Lopes’ infield single scored Scioscia.


A Phillies spokesman said X-rays were negative on Maddox’s ankle, which was severely twisted.  Maddox will not play today, and the team was uncertain when he would return to the lineup.


Christenson held the Dodgers to just one hit through five innings as the Phillies built their 7-0 lead.