Reading Eagle - September 18, 1980
Phils Win in 11th
Garry Maddox Sets Up Tie-Breaker
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pitcher Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies rarely permits rallies, but the Pittsburgh Pirates erased a 4-1 deficit to send the game into extra innings.
“After we tied it up we felt the way we did last year,” said Pirate catcher Steve Nicosia. “We hadn’t come back in a long time. We really felt like momentum has switched to our side.”
But the feeling was short-lived, and the Phillies left here Wednesday night with a 5-4 victory in 11 innings that may have wiped out the Pirates’ chances in the National League East while propelling the Phillies toward a showdown with the Montreal Expos.
“This game will help us quite a bit,” said Philadelphia’s Garry Maddox, who stole two bases in the 11th inning and scored the tie-breaking run on a pinch single by Del Unser.
The Phillies cut Montreal’s lead to 1½ games when the Expos lost 5-2 to the New York Mets, while the Pirates stayed five games back.
In other N.L. games, Los Angeles took over sole possession of first place in the West with a 2-1 victory over San Diego, while Cincinnati beat Houston 7-0, San Francisco beat Atlanta 2-0 and St. Louis beat Chicago 8-5.
“This was a nice baseball game to win,” beamed Phils’ Manager Dallas Green, “especially after the fact that we had it and didn’t put it away.”
The Pirates remained five games back. They have no more games left with the Phillies, two left with the Expos (next Monday and Tuesday in Pittsburgh). The Phillies and Expos play each other six times in the last 10 days of the season..
“The Pirates are not out of it by any means,” said Maddox. “But they’ll need a lot of help to do it. We still have Montreal coming in, so that will be a good chance for us.”
Maddox led off the Philadelphia 11th with a single up the middle off Pirate reliever Kent Tekulve. Then he stole second and third and came home on Unser’s bloop, two-out hit to left.
“You can chalk that one up to Garry Maddox,” said Green. “we had him stealing second base, but he stole third on his own. And that was the big play that we needed.”
Phillie reliever Tug McGraw, 2-4, pitched the ninth and 10th innings for the victory, and recently acquired Sparky Lyle pitched the bottom of the 11th to earn his first National League save.
The Phillies took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning of Pirate starter Bert Blyleven on a bases-loaded walk to Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski’s two-run double off the left field wall.
Lee Lacy led off the Pirate fifth with his seventh homer, but Carlton drove in another Philadelphia run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly. And Carlton, bidding for his 23rd victory, held a 4-1 lead on a four-hitter through six innings.
Bill Robinson led off the Pirate seventh with his 12th homer, and Phil Garner and Nicosia followed with two-out singles.
Kurt Bevacqua then batted for Blyleven and tied the game with a two-run double to left-center.
In the Pirate 10th, Nicosia led off with a long drive to left off McGraw that was caught at the warning track by Greg Gross.
John Milner followed with a pinch single, and pinch runner Vance Law stole second. But McGraw then retired Omar Moreno of a pop fly and Tim Foli on a groundout.
Then the Phils broke the tied in the 11th with the help of Maddox’ two base thefts.
After Tekulve struck out Bob Boone for the second out, Unser poked his winning hit to left. “It was a good pitch, low and away,” said Tekulve.
Lyle secured the victory in the bottom of the inning, retiring Bill Madlock and Lacy after allowing a walk to Bill Robinson.