Wilmington Morning News - September 18, 1980

Maddox steals show for Phils in 11th


By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor


PITTSBURGH – There have been times, Manager Dallas Green has said, when Garry Maddox does not play the kind of aggressive, offensive baseball the .Phillies need.


Last night was not one of those.


Just when it looked like the Phils were going to cough up a crucial verdict to the Pirates, Garry Lee Maddox rose to the occasion.


Maddox led off the 11th inning of a 4-4 tie with a single to center off Kent Tekulve. With Greg Gross batting, he stole second. With one out and Bob Boone at the plate, he stole third. Then, after the scene became dark for the Phils when Boone fanned on a mile outside pitch, Del Unser stroked a single to left and the Phillies were on top 5-4.


Newcomer Sparky Lyle surged to the mound, put the Pirates down in the 11th and the Phils were finished with Pittsburgh and the graveyard that is Three Rivers Stadium for 1980. It was only their second success here in nine bouts, but this one was important.


By winning, the Phils moved to within 1½ games of first-place Montreal in National League East. The Expos lost to the Mets 5-2. The Pirates remain in third place five games off the pace.


Tug McGraw, who took over for Steve Carlton to start the ninth, blanked the Pirates for two innings to gain his second victory in six decisions.


Carlton was rolling along with a 4-1 lead when the Pirates exploded for three runs in the seventh. Bill Robinson's 12th homer led off the inning and pinch-hitter Kurt Bevac-qua doubled home two more runs before Carlton fanned Omar Moreno for the third out.


"When the Pirates tied against Carlton it didn't look good for us," said shortstop Larry Bowa, who lashed out three singles before leaving with a slightly strained hamstring. "You know how Pittsburgh is in this ball park."


The Phils had built their 4-1 lead against Bert Blyleven, who has never beaten them in six decisions. They scored three times in the fifth with Greg Luzinski's two-run double the big hit after Mike Schmidt had forced in the first run with a bases-loaded walk.


The Pirates got a run back on Lee Lacy's homer in the bottom of the inning, but Philadelphia bounced back to score its fourth run on Carlton's sacrifice fly.


"This was a nice baseball game to win, especially when it appeared we had it put away and they tied," said Green.


"You can chalk this one up to Garry Maddox. We had him stealing second, but he went to third on his own. And then Del Unser comes through with a big bit off Tekulve."


"Tekulve has a slow, deliberate move to the plate," said Maddox. "On the steal of third, I was trying to get an extra step or two on him and I did. I knew he was aware of me on second, but was not that concerned. As it turned out, I got a good enough jump. I knew he was going to throw a sinker."


Maddox also helped his teammates in the sixth. He beat out an infield single to first and raced to third when Bowa singled to right. That brought up Boone, who hit a high chopper to third. Maddox was trapped between third and home, but danced back and forth long enough to allow the slow-running Boone to take second and Bowa to reach third. Bowa was automatically out at third because the base belonged to Maddox. Carlton followed with his sacrifice fly.


"If Garry hadn't forced them to attempt a run-down on him, we would not have had a runner at third," said Green. "He handled that situation very well."


McGraw retired the first four Pirates in order before pinch-hitter John Milner singled with one down in the 10th. Pinch-runner Vance Law stole second, but Tug got Moreno to fly to right and Tim Foli to ground out on a 3-1 pitch.


"Getting Foli was the key to the whole game as far as I was concerned," said McGraw. "He is a good contact hitter. I would rather have a home-run hitter up there in that situation. I wanted to keep the ball down to him so it would stay in the infield.


"This is an important game for me, because two of my four losses were to the Pirates. Now, I have beaten them twice."


"I just went out there and threw sliders," said Lyle, who has worked in three straight games since joining the Phils last Sunday. "I still am not throwing well; I just tried to keep the ball down and change speeds on my slider."


The Phils now have a 79-66 record with 17 games to go. Montreal is 81-65 with 16 games left, six with the Phils. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is 76-70, with 16 to go, including two with the Expos.


“It's going to be tough for Pittsburgh, but I don't think you can count the Pirates out," said Green, when asked if this loss was a devastating blow. "They can turn it around quickly. They can get hot."


EXTRA POINTS - Bowa said his leg was causing him a lot of pain after the game... "I am going to stay off it most of Thursday," the shortstop said... Rose tied Honus Wagner for fourth place on the all-time doubles list when he hit his 651st in the ninth inning... The Phils end season play with the Pirates with a 7-11 record... The victory last night snapped a six-game losing streak here... The Phils are now 26-25 in one-run decisions and 9-8 in overtime... They fly to Chicago today to start a three-game weekend series beginning tomorrow with the Cubs, Bob Walk vs. Rick Reuschel.