Monessen Valley Independent - May 27, 1980
Pirates Go Down Fighting, 7-6
by the United Press International
PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — The Philadelphia Phillies traditionally stage a giant fireworks display for the fans on Memorial Day. They outdid themselves in Monday night's 7-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
First came a 10-rninute bench-clearing brawl as players from both teams slugged it out after Pirate pitcher Bert Blyleven was hit with a pitch by Phil reliever Keven Saucier.
Then the Phillies rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat ace reliever Kent Tekulve, 5-3, and replace the Pirates atop the National League East standings.
Pittsburgh led 6-5 going into the final inning and manager Chuck Tanner called on Tekulve to preserve the lead. The hard-throwing righthander never retired a batter.
Mike Schmidt, a central figure in the earlier brawl, doubled to open the inning and took third as the slimmed-down Greg Luzinski beat out an infield single behind second.
Pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith ran for Luzinski and raced to third when Bob Boone tied the game with a double past third basemen Bill Madlock.
The Pirates intentionally walked Garry Maddox, who homered, doubled and singled earlier, to set a force and put the pressure on Larry Bowa.
Bowa responded with a game-winning single to right, through the drawn in Pittsburgh defense, and the Phillies had their fifth straight victory and l0th triumph in their last 13 games.
"I hit three balls good, all right at Stargell," said Bowa. "I finally got one through. It was a great game to win. They've done it to us lots of times.
"You're always mentally ready for the Pirates. It's too early to call it a key game, but it's great to win that first one.
Ron Reed, who hurled the ninth, picked up the victory and is now 3-0. Tekulve suffered his third loss in eight decisions.
Tempers flared early. Blyleven brushed back Schmidt and Luzinski in the first. When he repeated the move against Schmidt in the third, the Phil's hot-hitting third basemen took a step toward the mound and both benches emptied. Order was restored without any trouble.
Then, in the fifth, reliever Saucier hit Willie Stargell with a changeup. Stargell earlier had hit a two-run homer off rookie Bob Walk and drove in a third run with a sacrifice fly.
When Saucier hit Blyleven with a pitch with two out in the sixth, the Pirate picked up the ball and charged the mound. He was restrained by plate umpire Doug Harvey and catcher Bob Boone, but several Pirates pounded Saucier and several others were punched.
"I'm proud of the club - we were down 3-1," said Phillies manager Dallas Green. "They showed the character I like to see. Saucier is no back off guy. With him, it's an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
It appeared order was restored, but the two teams went at each other a second time. Phillies bullpen coach Mike Ryan was involved and umpire Doug Harvey ejected Pirate outfielder Lee Lacy and Philadelphia coach Herm Starrette after the commotion finally subsided.
Pittsburgh jumped on Walk, just recalled from Oklahoma City, with three runs in the third to take a five-run lead. Four walks, a throwing error by Boone and a bases-loaded single by Ed Ott did the damage.
The Phillies came back with single runs in the seventh and eighth to set up the ninth inning fireworks. Luzinski doubled home a run in the seventh and Manny Trillo singled home a run in the eighth.
"These things happen from time to time," Pirated shortstop Tim Foli said of the fight. "As far as the game goes we'll just have to come out tomorrow and do things different."
The two teams meet again tonight in Philadelphia, as Phil pitcher Steve Carlton goes against Pirate Jim Bibby in the second of a four-game series.