Los Angeles Times - September 5, 1980

Dodgers Lose Streak but Keep the Lead


Schmidt, Luzinski Hit Homers off Reuss and Phils Foil Mota’s Rescue Bid, 3-2


By Mike Littwin, Times Staff Writer


Even with old man Manny Mota sent to the rescue, the Dodgers couldn't save their seven-game winning streak.


Mota provided a good part of the drama Thursday night. But in a battle of division leaders, Philadelphia provided the better part of the runs.


They knocked off Jerry Reuss on home runs by Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski, 3-2, as Bob Walk (10-4) held on for the win, despite his bullpen.


Schmidt owns Reuss (16-5). The Phillies slugger's 36th homer this season was the eighth in his career against the Dodger ace.


But Mota he owns the crowd.


A Standing Ovation


At age 42, the Dodgers' batting coach, who retired last year as baseball's premier pinch hitter, was reactivated Sept. 1 for just such occasions.


When he was called in from the first-base coaching position, most of the 41,864 fans at Dodger Stadium greeted him with a standing ovation.


But Thursday, the first of four and games between the Dodgers Phillies, wasn’t to be his night.


Mota, with two outs and Davey Lopes on first, batted for lefty Jay Johnstone against lefty Tug McGraw, the one Phillie reliever who was effective. Mota grounded to short, and the game was over.


With the game went the Dodgers' winning streak. It was their first loss this home stand.


But they did hold onto their lead in the National League West, by a half-game over idle Houston and 3½ over Cincinnati.


One Team Had to Give


One team had to give. The Phillies have been hot themselves. They're 6-3 on their trip to the West Coast and hold a game lead over Pittsburgh and Montreal.


"I always like to play here," said Luzinski, who hit his 17th homer in what has been an injury-ridden season for the Phillies' left fielder. "I see the ball well here.


"And I've had good success against Reuss. I've hit the ball hard all my career against him."


So has Schmidt of course.


They were the only Phillies who could do much against Reuss. In seven innings, he allowed four hits. But one was Schmidt's two-run homer in the first and the other was Luzinski's leadoff homer in the seventh.


The Dodgers came back briefly, Dusty Baker hitting a two-run homer in the eighth against reliever Warren Brusstar. Steve Garvey followed with a single, and Rick Monday, with two outs, singled him to third.


Enter McGraw, who got pinch-hitter Joe Ferguson to pop up.


Walk had to be wondering what was happening out there. He hadn't been pitching well of late, but he was pitching well Thursday.


His 7.15 August earned-run average seemed like a bad dream as he put the Dodgers to rest. Just last week, they had put him out of his misery early.


Thursday night he lingered.


He left in the eighth with one runner on, a 3-0 lead, and a 2-0 count on Johnstone. Brusstar got Johnstone, but he didn't get many others. Fortunately for the Phillies, McGraw, who was booed heavily, did.


The Phillies had been winning without the long ball. Before Thursday, they hadn't hit a homer in 10 games, their longest homerless span since 1962.


On Aug. 24 against San Francisco, Schmidt and Luzinski hit home runs back to back. They weren't quite so dramatic this time, but they were just as effective.


Between the homers, the Phillies had two base runners against Reuss, who was perhaps two pitches away from a seventh shutout.


But the Dodgers weren't putting any pressure on Walk. Brusstar did, but before him, the Phillies' fielders contributed.


In the fifth inning, Mike Scioscia's single to center eluded Garry Maddox. He took second on the play and might have even made third had he tried. He got to third eventually, but no further.


In the sixth, after a leadoff double by Johnstone. Baker reached first on an error by third baseman Schmidt. But Garvey fouled out and Ron Cey grounded into a double play.


Dodger Notes


Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw, who hit Bill Russell with a pitch recently in Philadelphia, came out for batting practice dressed in an army jacket and a helmet. "So nobody would recognize me." he said. After apologizing for the incident, he said, "I'm not proud of what I did. It's not good to let it linger." McGraw and Russell mugged for TV cameras and then presented the lineup cards together. All, apparently, is forgiven for now... Dusty Baker lost his 16-game hitting streak Wednesday. Baker said Rose told him, "DiMaggio can rest easy another year"... Steve Carlton (21-7) pitches tonight for the Phillies against Don Sutton (9-4)... Catcher Steve Yeager, who has been out 10 days with a bone chip in the middle finger of his right hand, threw some batting practice Thursday and said he is ready to resume play... The Dodgers lead the league in shutouts with 17 and have been shut out only three times... Bill Russell, who has been playing with a sore wrist, took the night off as Davey Lopes (hamstring) returned to the lineup. Handyman Derrel Thomas simply moved from second to short... The Dodgers have been using Bobby Mitchell as a late-inning defensive replacement in center field. Mickey Hatcher has been coming on for Jay Johnstone in right... Going into Thursday's game, the Dodgers were 41-27 against East Division teams.