Rick Adair's eight-hit pitching and three unearned runs lifted the Alexandria Mariners to a 4-0 Carolina League win tonight over the Peninsula Pilots.
Alexandria's initial run came in the third inning after Chuck Lindsay singled and stole second. Pilot shortstop then booted Elwood Hollands grounder, Lindsay scoring.
For a typical coup de grace, the far-too-late relay throw to third hit Driessen in the hip pocket and rolled over-so-slowly into the Red dugout to let Driessen score an insurance run. Where oh where, was Reed, who was supposed to be backing up third.
For the ecstatic Reds, this was their sixth straight win -- longest streak of the season and their 24th win in 32 games.
In their last 21 games, Cincinnati pitching has had a 2.2c ERA. Tonight it was Mike Lacoss (15-5) and two inning reliever Tommy Hume who held Philadelphia to a puny two hits.
Hume, who leads the NL in ERA (2.71), has allowed one earned run in his last 30.1 innings.
For the Phils, who trail the Pittsburgh Pirates by 11 games, this was just a continuation of a long nightmare.
The Phils have lost six of their last seven games, getting a humbling 34 hits in that span -- four of those by pitchers.
For the charging Reds, this long evening was indeterminant since they remain on the heel of Houston in the West after the Astros' 3-0 win over Montreal. If J. R. Richard could toss a two-hitter for Houston, Lacoss and Hume could answer for the Reds. Five long weeks remain for Cincy and Houston to settle their squabble.
But for the Phils, this gut-ripping loss was just one in a sequence of body blows The team that in March looked like the scourge of basebell is a joke One Cincinnati player, in the gaggle of Reds at the cold cuts table, crowded, "Bye, bye, Ozark."
The Phils of '79 have something of that haunted, pathetic aspect that crept into the eyes of the Boston Red sox of '78.
It is the lack of great expectations, delayed for generations, going down the drain once more in an orgy of recriminations.
"We feel humilitated and we should," said Phils shortstop Larry Bowa. "Maybe it's good that we're getting our butts buried. Maybe it'd wake us if we finished about 15 games behind. "The reason we're hanging by a thread isn't primarily our injuries. It's us."