In a season in which there has been an alarming lack of hitting, the accomplishment of Von Hayes and the Phillies Tuesday night at Philadelphia becomes even more astonishing.
Hayes became the first player in major league history to hit two home runs in the first inning. The second was a grand slam which climaxed a nine-run first inning and started the Phillies on their way to a 26-7 victory over the New York Mets.
The Phillies went into the game with a average of .230, a mark better than only two other teams, the Mets and San Francisco, but they scored more runs than any National League team in 41 years.
Hayes, who led off the bottom of the first with a home run, had the only home runs among the club-record 27 hits, but in setting a club record for most runs in one game, the Phillies had 10 doubles and two triples. The National League record is 28, set by St. Louis in 1929 against the Phillies. The major league record is 29. The Boston Red Sox did it in 1950, and the Chicago White Sox did it in 1955.
The 27-hit outburst raised the Phillies' team batting average 8 points to. 238 and the 26 runs represented 8% of their output for the season.
Hayes went into the game in a terrible slump. He was benched last week and had only two hits in his previous 33 at-bats.
He is one of 21 major league hitters to hit two in one inning. Willie McCovey did it twice. Most recently, Ray Knight, then of the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1980.
"After hitting those two home runs, I was afraid it would put me in another slump," Hayes said. "I'm not really a home run hitter and I have to keep myself from swinging for the fences."
In the seven-run second inning, which gave Charles Hudson a 16-0 lead, Mike Schmidt had a single and a two-run double. Hayes singled in the rally. Bo Diaz had three doubles in the game, one of them in the first and another in the second.
The Phillies knocked out starter Tom Gorman in the first inning and continued their assault on Calvin Schiraldi, who gave up 10 runs and 10 hits in 1 innings. The Phillies sent 12 men to the plate in the first inning, 11 more in the second and tapered off, barely batting around when they scored five runs in the fifth and four in the seventh.
Not since 1944, a year in which most of the good players were in the armed services, had a team scored 26 runs in a game. It was the New York Giants doing it to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 26-8, in the Polo Grounds.
Although Hudson (2-6) was the winner, the Mets, a team with a .222 average, went on a mini rampage of their own. In five innings, they pounded Hudson for 13 hits and seven runs.
The big hitting night in the league was in contrast with the first third of the season.
The Phillies, showing signs of coming to life this week, have won three in a row for the first time this season.
"I'm happy for Hayes, he's been struggling," said Phillie Manager John Felske, who inserted Hayes in the leadoff spot. "I had him there because I wanted to give Jeff Stone a night off and I didn't want to mess with the batting order.
"For the past couple of weeks we have been playing better baseball but not getting the hits. Now, we're starting to get the hits and that builds momentum."
The Mets' fifth loss in the last six games dropped them 3 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the East.
Pittsburgh 13, St. Louis 2--The Pirates had lost seven in a row and been roundly chastised before this game at Pittsburgh by General Manager Joe L. Brown, and they took their anger out on the Cardinals.
Rick Reuschel, continuing his comeback, not only pitched brilliantly in winning his third in a row since returning to the majors, he drove in three runs with a pair of singles to lead an 18-hit attack.
Manager Whitey Herzog of the Cardinals, disappointed with the work of Neil Allen in the bullpen, decided to try him as a starter. It was a monumental mistake. Allen gave up seven runs and eight hits in just 2 innings. He was shelled out in the six-run third that gave Reuschel a 10-0 cushion.
At a news conference before the game, Brown claimed some Pirates "have an attitude problem" and would not be around very long.
While catcher Tony Pena agreed with the general manager that the attitude was terrible, Bill Madlock, who homered in the first inning to get the Pirates going, did not.
"Even if we have five with a bad attitude," Madlock said, "that leaves 20 of us with a good attitude. If we play with the hustle we had tonight, we'll win our share."
Houston 11, San Diego 0--Mark Bailey hit a grand slam in the sixth inning at Houston to help make it an easy victory for Mike Scott. Scott (5-2) held the Padres, the second-best hitting team in the league, to four hits and struck out five.
It was the third win in a row for Scott, but his first shutout and first complete game of the season.
Bill Doran gave Scott all the help he needed when he opened the bottom of the first inning with a home run. Doran drove in two other runs and was 2 for 3.
Chicago 5, Montreal 3--Pretty soon Leon Durham is going to convince everybody he can hit left-handers. Last week, he won games with clutch hits against Pirate reliever Al Holland.
In this one, with the bases loaded in the eighth at Montreal, Durham tagged left-hander Gary Lucas with a grand slam and gave the Cubs their sixth victory in a row.
The Montreal bullpen failed to hold a lead and prevented Mickey Mahler from winning his second in a row. Last Wednesday, in his first major league start in six years, Mahler held the weak-hitting Giants to one hit. In this one, he had a 3-1 lead going into the eighth inning.
San Francisco 5, Atlanta 4--In addition to playing long ball in the National League, they also played long game at Atlanta.
The Giants, the worst hitting team in the majors, fell behind, 4-0, partly because Bob Horner hit two home runs, rallied to pull within one and tied it against Bruce Sutter in the eighth with the help of an error.
Then, in the 18th, 10 innings later, Bob Brenly singled home David Green from second base to win the game.
The Giants, with a team batting average of .211, had lost five in a row, while scoring just two runs.