At first given the night off by Dodger manager Tom Lasorda because he wasn't feeling well, Reggie Smith eventually played and provided Los Angeles with its winning runs in Wednesday night's 6-4 victory over Philadelphia.
Prior to the game at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Lasorda had inquired about Smith's health, since he did not look well.
"I'm not feeling well," the right fielder said.
"Well, then," said Lasorda, "take the night off."
Later, Smith took batting practice and felt better. Then after a session with the Dodgers' trainer, he felt even better and decided he wanted to start after all.
Smith's two-run homer in the seventh inning gave the Dodgers a 6-3 lead and supplied reliever Charlie Hough with enough of a cushion to withstand a Philadelphia uprising in the ninth.
"This is the best ball club I have ever been with," said Smith, of the Dodgers, who are leading the National League West by a whopping 12 games over Cincinnati. "This club has it all-outstanding speed, pitching-power.
"It'll be tough for the Reds to catch us with this lead we've got. If we continue to play like we can, there'll be nothing for the Reds to catch up to."
In other National League games Wednesday: Cardinals 8, Astros 4
Lou Brock and Mike Tyson each collected three singles, pacing a 15-hit St. Louis attack, Buddy Schultz hurled the final four innings for the Cards in picking up his third victory of the season without a loss. Mets 2, Giants 0
John Matlack fired a five-hitter for his second consecutive shutout, pitching New York over San Francisco. Second baseman Lenny Randle, who made two tumbling catches in the field, had a hand in both of the Mets' runs, drilling three hits for the game. Braves 10, Expos 8
Biff Pocoroba drove in two runs with a homer and double and Barry Bonnell added two run-scoring singles as Atlanta edged Montreal. It was the third straight victory for the braves and the eighth straight defeat for the Expos in a game that was delayed 61 minutes by rain in the sixth inning. Reds 8, Pirates 3
Bob Bailey drove in three runs with a single and a sacrifice fly to lead Cincinnati over Pittsburg and hand winless Jerry Reuss his fifth loss. Bailey, the sixth member of the Reds tried in the No. 4 batting spot this season, triggered a four-run first-inning with his two-run single and his sacrifice fly in the fifth, when the Reds scored twice without a hit.
Joe Morgan tied the Reds' club record of 319 stolen bases in the fifth inning on the back end of a double steal, Cincinnati's second of the game. He shares the mark with Bob Bescher, who did it in 1908-1913. AMERICAN LEAGUE
Rangers 6, Tigers 3
Gaylord Perry, the 38-year-old righthander who won 134 National League games, recorded his 100th American League truimph Wednesday night in pitching Texas over Detriot. Cy Young and Jim Bunning are the only two other pitchers who won 100 games or more in both leagues. White Sox 7, Royals 4
Oscar Gamble belted a three-run homer for Chicago and Chris Knapp pitched eight strong innings before needing last-out help from Lerrin LaGrow. Gamble's homer highlighted a five-run second inning that included six consecutive hits against Dennis Leonard. Eric Soderholm, who had four singles, and Ralph Garr also drove in runs in the big inning. Darrell Porter homered for Kansas City. Brewers 3, Blue Jays 2
Robin Yount's two-out single in the 10th inning scored Sixto Lezcano with the winning run. Lezcano opened the inning with a single off reliever Pete Vuckovich, Steve Byre sacrificed and Von Joshua was intentionally walked. Vuckovich struck out pinch hitter Mike Hegan, but Yount delivered his third hit of the game, scoring Lezcano.