Philadelphia Inquirer - May 7, 1980
Phillies beat Braves, 10-5
By Don McKee, Inquirer Staff Writer
There was a host of good news from Veterans Stadium last night, so much that perhaps we should get Jayne Kennedy to read it to you.
In addition to the 10-5 rout of shabby Atlanta, a win that pushed the Phillies above .500 (11-10) for the first time since they were 4-3 on April 19, the 25,302 fans witnessed the following events:
• Dick Ruthven went deeper into a game – six innings – than in any outing since his first start of the year, in the season's second game. The righthander evened his record at 2-2 by allowing only one earned run and seems to be slowly working his way back from the offseason surgery to clean bone chips out of his right elbow.
• Pete Rose, who entered the game hitting .203 (no, that's not a misprint), rifled three hard hits and scored as many runs.
• Dickie Ray Noles was effective again in relief, with his second save.
• Third-string second baseman Ramon Aviles (playing because Manny Trillo and Luis Aguayo are injured) atoned for the error that led to four unearned first-inning runs with two hits and a nifty double play.
• Perhaps most significant of all, Mike Schmidt continued to punish pitchers, knocking in four runs.
Schmidt got a run-scoring double to help the Phils climb back from the early, 4-0, deficit, then absolutely ripped a bases-loaded triple in the eighth to turn an "iffy," 6-5 lead into the 10-5 laugher.
The third baseman (yes, he made another fine play in the field, too) now leads the National League in home runs (8) and runs (20). He is second in the league in RBIs with 22, and he is hitting .318.
All of this even made manager Dallas Green happy.
"We're in a good groove right now where we're gonna score runs," the manager boomed. "The pitchers have just got to hold 'em long enough for the hitters to win the game.
"Ruthven did a hell of a job. After the first I told him, 'Just hold 'em ' there and we'll get 'em.' I had a gut feeling we were gonna score some runs."
The Phillies have scored at least seven runs in each of the last five games (four of them wins) and have scored 10 in two of the last three.
So it wasn't really any big deal that Atlanta got four runs in the first. With two out, Dale Murphy rolled an inoffensive grounder to Aviles, who bent down but came up with air.
Chris Chambliss single, a walk, Brian Asselstine's three-run double and Bruce Benedict's RBI single got the runs home.
“I think I shot my wad that inning," Ruthven quipped later.
But the Phillies got the lead in three innings. The rallies were indicative of how important Rose is to the offense. He doubled in the first and scored on Bake McBride's double.
Rose also led off the third with a double, triggering a four-run uprising that grabbed a 5-4 lead. Schmidt scored Rose with a double, Greg Luzinski scored Schmidt with a single, Greg Gross scored Luzinksi with a double, and Larry Bowa drove in Gross with a single.
The Braves threatened in the fifth, with two on and one out, but Aviles went deep into the hole behind second to grab Chambliss' hard grounder and start a double play.
"That was the key to the whole ball game," Green said later. "That took the heart out of them and kept us right where we had to be."
The Phillies expanded the lead to 6-4 in the sixth. Aviles doubled and moved to third when the Braves botched Ruthven's sacrifice bunt, then scored on McBride's sacrifice fly.
McBride, the No. 2 hitter, now has 17 RBIs and is second on the club to Schmidt.
The only time things looked shaky for the Phils after the first inning last night was the seventh. Ruthven walked the leadoff hitter, and Green signaled for Ron Reed.
The righthander got Jerry Royster to ground into a fielders' choice, then gave up hard singles to Larvell Blanks and Murphy, scoring Royster with the run that cut the Phils' lead to 6-5.
Green went to Noles, a righthander, who induced the left-handed Chambliss to pop to center, too shallow to score Blanks from third. Noles then struck out Jeff Burroughs to end the Braves' last threat.
The young pitcher even led off the eighth with a single off Al Hrabosky. Singles by Rose and McBride loaded the bases, and Schmidt drove a liner above Asselstine's head in left center for a triple to score three runs.
When Roysters' errant relay got past catcher Benedict, Schmidt slid home with the inning's fourth run.
"I know he says he's not in a good groove," Green said of Schmidt. "Well, I hope he stays 'not in a good groove,' all season."
NOTES: The Phillies' protest of Sunday's loss to Los Angeles (the lineup squabble) was turned down by the league office yesterday.... Manny Trillo took extra batting practice and said, "It'll probably be Friday" before he comes off the disabled list.... Larry Christenson (2-0) goes tonight against Phillies killer Phil Niekro (1-4 overall this year but 23-13 lifetime against the Phils).... Rain delayed last night's start by 15 minutes.... Former Phil Bud Harrelson signed with the Texas Rangers. The switch-hitting infielder, 36, replaces the injured Rusty Staub.