Wilmington News Journal - September 21, 1980
Aviles fills bill for Phillies in 7-3 victory
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
CHICAGO – Larry Bowa, wearing a long face, insisted his ailing hamstring was fine and he was ready to go at the Cubs. Dallas Green had other ideas.
So, the manager sent journeyman Ramon Aviles out to play shortstop under a blazing Wrigley Field sun yesterday and he made certain Bowa's absence didn't cost the Phils as they held off Chicago 7-3.
In fact, Bowa might be fretting a little about now, wondering when he'll get back in the lineup.
Aviles, who homered and singled in Friday's jarring 4-3 setback, ripped a double to score Manny Trillo with the Phils' fourth run in the second.
But that's not what his teammates were talking about after Tug McGraw sealed rookie Marty Bystrom's third straight victory with a perfect ninth inning.
Bystrom, whose consecutive scoreless innings string ended at 20 when Dave Kingman blasted a two-run homer in the fourth, waltzed into the sixth with a 5-2 pad. Singles by Jim Tracy, Tim Blackwell and Mike Tyson produced a run and put Cubs on first and third with one out.
Green decided Bystrom had had it and called on Kevin Saucier, who had not pitched since Aug. 23, to face pinch-hitter Larry Biittner. The veteran Cub hit a bouncer that Trillo gloved and Aviles quickly turned it into an inning-ending doubleplay.
Then, in the seventh Saucier dug a hole, putting Cubs on first and second with one out. The left-handed reliever got the National League's leading hitter, Bill Buckner, to hit a chopper to Trillo and Aviles again turned the doubleplay.
Right-hander Dickie Noles, who blanked the Cubs in the eighth, threw a third strike by Kingman.
Pete Rose, who had three hits for the first time since Aug. 27, laced a single that scored two runs in the ninth to give McGraw some breathing room in the bottom of the inning.
The victory kept the Phils a game and a half behind Montreal in National League East. The Expos came from behind to beat St. Louis 5-4.
"Those double plays were the keys," said Green. "If the Biittner ball is not turned into a DP, they are within a run and Ivan DeJesus, who wears us out, is up. And if we don't get the second one, they've got a runner on third with only one out with Kingman the batter."
"I really didn't think we were going to get either one of them," said Saucier. "Neither of the balls was hit that hard. On each one, though, Ramon made an outstanding pivot."
“The one on Biittner was the toughest," said Aviles. "Manny wasn't able to give me a real good throw; it was low and I had to worry about the runner. I knew it was going to be close."
Aviles, who filled in for Bowa when the Gold Glover was injured last year, did not make the team this past spring because Green wanted to go with rookie Luis Aguayo.
Aguayo is probably our shortstop of the future," said Green, "so we wanted to give him a chance. But when we started worrying about the players' strike, I decided to send him back to Oklahoma City so he could play. I didn't want him sitting around."
Aviles has been here ever since and although he goes unnoticed most of the time he is always ready.
"When I'm not playing, I work extra hard," he said. "I take a lot of infield practice and keep my arm in shape. I really don't worry about my defense, but when you don't play your hitting suffers.”
Mike Schmidt's 40th homer of the season, a three-run blast to left-center in the first inning gave Bystrom a 3-0 margin and after back-to-back doubles by Trillo and Aviles in the second it was 4-0.
But in the fourth, Buckner opened with a single and Kingman, who made two errors in left field, sent a Bystrom fastball screaming to center field for his 18th homer.
Garry Maddox' ninth home run, with one out in the sixth, gave the Phils their 5-2 advantage.
Kingman's blast ruined Bystrom's bid for the major leagues' consecutive innings record by a rookie pitcher. George McQuillan, who was pitching for the Phillies, threw 25 straight scoreless innings in 1907.
"Sure, I knew about the record; everybody knew about it," said Bystrom, answering reporters' questions in a testy fashion. "I really wasn't worrying about that. I just went out there and tried to win the game.
"I tried to jam Kingman with a fastball, he hit it 400 feet. I felt like I pitched the same today as I did in my other two starts, but I was not able to get ahead of the batters as much as I did before. In the end, that's probably what cost me.
"No, the Wrigley Field wind did not make me change the way I pitch. There was always a lot of wind in Oklahoma City."
Trillo, who doubled and singled twice, said he has been bothered by a sore left hand.
"I don't want to sound like I am crying," he said. "I hurt it when I was batting, and if you notice, I do not take any infield throws. People keep saying I am tired. I am not tired. If I were tired, I wouldn't be able to make the plays at second base. I think my trouble at the plate has been the fact ever since we were in Los Angeles I have been trying too hard. Today, I was just relaxed and everything fell in."
Trillo's third single started the two-run ninth against reliever Bill Caudill. With Aviles at the plate, Caudill balked and the shortstop then dropped a bunt to send Trillo to third.
After pinch-hitter George Vukovich was walked on four pitches, Chicago Manager Joey Amalfitano brought in Willie Hernandez to face Rose. After taking a strike, Rose singled to center to easily score Trillo, but when the Jesus Flgueroa fumbled the ball for an error, pinch-runner Lonnie Smith raced home. Rose tried to make third, but was out on a close play.
EXTRA POINTS – After Tim Blackwell walked with one out in the eighth, pinch-hitter Cliff Johnson gave Noles a scare when he hit a high fly to the warning track in center... Schmidt's homer was his first since May 23 with more than one teammate aboard... Of his 49 homers, 21 have come with none on, 16 with one on, two with two on and one with three on... He has hit 29 career homers at Wrigley, including seven this season... Rose's double was the 652nd of his career, pushing him ahead of Honus Wagner into fourth place on he all-time list... Rose probably will break another record today... He needs just fiye at-bats to give him 600 for the 13th consecutive season to break Nellie Fox' mark of 12... Phils lead the series 8-5 and are 4-4 here... Dick Ruthven (15-10, 3.64) goes against Dennis Lamp (10-11, 4.88) today.