Wilmington Morning News - September 10, 1980

Phillies’ suicide beats Pirates in 14th


By Ray Finocchiaro, Staff Correspondent


PHILADELPHIA – Johnny Carson may have not appreciated the delay, hut the Phillies went 14 innings before decisioning the Pittsburgh Pirates shortly before midnight at Veterans Stadium.


The winning run came on one of Manager Dallas Green's favorite plays, the suicide squeeze. And Bob Boone, bad hand and all, got the bunt down that scored Garry Maddox from third base for the 5-4 victory.


Boone, whose hand swelled after taking a foul tip off Dave Parker's bat in the sixth, bunted loser Mark Lee's first pitch back to the pitcher. Lee's throw to the plate was high and Maddox slid under Ed Ott's desperate tag.


“I couldn't slide around him,” said Maddox, who was unhurt but slow getting up, "so I had to slide through his legs. That's what caused the problem."


What problem? Green was ecstatic.


"This was a very, very satisfying win for the team," he said. "I couldn't be prouder right now."


Boone, whose hand hurt, echoed that feeling.


"It was important to get four up on the Pirates in the loss column," he said. "I just wanted to get that bunt down so Garry could score."


Boone figured in a game-saving play in 12th with Ron Reed pitching.


Tim Foli beat out an infield hit to shortstop and pinch-runner Matt Alexander easily stole second before Mike Easier was intentionally walked.


Mike Schmidt made a dazzling stop on Bill Madlock's bullet to third, then threw to second to force Easier. But Manny Trillo dropped the ball while trying to get the ball out of his glove and Alexander broke for the plate.


The hustling Trillo's relay just beat Alexander to the plate, which Boone had blocked with his left leg anyway. Boone applied a hard tag to Alexander's head, umpire Doug Harvey called him out for an eye-popping double play and the Phils were still alive.


"I didn't think it was that close," said Boone, "but Harvey said he got to the plate. I didn't think he did."


But Maddox did, two innings later.


The Pirates, who blew a pair of two-run leads, had to be discouraged, though Manager Chuck Tanner tried to downplay any tragedy.


“That was the toughest loss of the year for us," he said, "but we'll bounce back. We've got a long way to go yet. We still play the Phillies again, and we play Montreal (which leads the Phils by a half-game and Pittsburgh by 2½). It's not over. We just start tomorrow, that's all."


But since the Pirates have lost 12 of their last 14 games, tomorrow might seem like a long time off.


As Johnny Carson, or at least Tom Snyder, would've said last night.


The Phils had several shots at winning before getting the job done in the 14th.


Mike Schmidt, whose triple had ignited the Phils' comeback that got starter Steve Carlton off the hook in the eighth, gave Eddie Solomon a scare with a drive that Omar Moreno flagged down at the center-field wall, leading off the Phils' 11th.


The Phils loaded the bases in the 13th, but to no avail. Leadoff-hitter Greg Gross waited out a walk, moved to second on pinch-hitter George Vukovich's hard grounder that momentarily handcuffed shortstop Foli, and stood his ground as Schmidt was intentionally walked with two out.


Bake McBride batted for Reed, Rod Scurry relieved Solomon and hit McBride with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.


Tanner brought in Mark Lee to face Trillo, who flied to center to end the threat.


For the second straight game, the Phils didn't provide Carlton with enough batting support for a victory.


Carlton got none at all, losing 1-0 to Don Sutton, his last time out. Last night the Phils managed just four hits and two runs in the seven innings John Candelaria worked, then tied the game – and got Carlton off the hook – against the Pirate bullpen in the eighth.


Kent Tekulve, who was batted around in Monday night's 6-2 victory, was the goat again last night. Grant Jackson allowed pinch-hitter Keith Moreland's leadoff double, then got the next two men out.


Tanner caused some grumbling on his own bench by waving in Tekulve, who'd been hit hard his last five times out, to face Schmidt. The Phils' third baseman tripled high off the left field wall for the third run, then scored on Greg Luzinski's single to left.


The late fireworks were a far cry from the early going, which featured clutch pitching by both starters.


The Pirates had jumped ahead 2-0 in the second inning. Bill Robinson singled to left and Lee Lacy drilled a double off the left-field wall with nobody out. A pair of sacrifice flies by Phil Garner and Steve Nicosia got the runners home.


The Phils got the two runs back in the bottom of the second, thanks in great part to some haphazard fielding by Pittsburgh.


Luzinski was credited with an infield single on a ball shortstop Foli threw past first base. Then Trillo narrowly avoided hitting into a double play when Foli threw high to first on Manny's comebacker to Candelaria after forcing the Bull at second.


Maddox doubled down the left-field line to put runners at second and third. Larry Bowa, who doubled home a pair of runs off Tekulve Monday night, got Trillo home with a sacrifice fly to center.


Then Boone got a gift double that left fielder Lacy lost in the lights – and nearly fielded off his head – to tie the game.


Carlton and Candelaria settled down into one of those much-touted pitchers' duels for the next four innings. Carlton allowed just one hit – Bill Madlock's sixth-inning single – while Candelaria allowed just Carlton's single to center in the fifth.


The Pirates, however, found the range in the seventh, scoring two more runs for a 4-2 lead.


Lacy tripled off the top of the center-field wall, the ball miraculously bouncing back into play after hopping straight up into the air.


No matter. Garner doubled Lacy home, then scored himself on Omar Moreno's two-out single past Schmidt at third.


After the Phils tied it, Dickie Noles relieved Carlton in the ninth and allowed just two hits in three innings of relief. But the Bucs' Enrique Romo was even better, retiring all six Phils he faced.


Reed pitched two innings of one-hit relief and had a chance to win before the 13th-inning rally fizzled.


Warren Brusstar, the Phils' fourth pitcher, had double-play help in the 14th before the Phils rallied to win.