11-1 Lead Isn't Enough; Dodgers Lose


The Philadelphia Phillies, thanks to poor relief pitching and two errors by rookie Jose Offerman, scored two runs in the eighth inning and nine runs in the ninth to defeat the Dodgers, 12-11, in Dodger Stadium Tuesday night.

Trailing, 11-1, the Phillies scored their two runs in the eighth against Don Aase on a two-run double by Von Hayes.

Then, with the big blow coming on a three-run pinch-homer by John Kruk against Tim Crews, they added nine in the ninth. Offerman, the rookie shortstop, mishandled two grounders in the inning that led to five unearned runs.

Before the ninth, it had seemed the Dodgers could do no wrong.

They began their their second-biggest inning of the season with a strikeout.

Their catcher committed two errors in the first three innings and was a hero.

Their most applauded pinch-hitter was a pitcher, who responded with his second consecutive pinch-hit this season.

The National League West-leading Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs, 8-1, Tuesday. The Dodgers needed to win to go six games above .500 for the first time this season and remain 5 1/2 games out of first place. They have one game remaining against the Phillies before a four-game weekend showdown here against the NL East contending New York Mets.

Before 39,682 at Dodger Stadium, the offense pounded three Phillies pitchers while helping Mike Hartley survive early jitters.

The Dodgers' eight-run fifth inning started with a strikeout.

Holding a 3-1 lead after four innings, the uprising began against reliever Bruce Ruffin, who had already replaced Jason Grimsley, who gave up three runs in three innings in his his third major league start.

It began on a swinging third strike by Kirk Gibson. The ball eluded catcher Darren Daulton, and Gibson ran to first base, courtesy of a passed ball.

The Dodgers would score seven runs before the Phillies could make another out.

Kal Daniels singled. Eddie Murray walked. Hubie Brooks hit a slow roller that was mishandled by third baseman Charlie Hayes for an error, scoring one run.

This brought up catcher Mike Scioscia, who made his seventh and eighth errors in the second and third innings on bad throws during stolen base attempts. The Phillies only run had resulted from one of those throws, when Tommy Herr went to third on his second-inning error and scored on a single by Dickie Thon.

Scioscia had already made up for that run with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the third. But apparently he did not think it was enough, as he lined a double into the left-center field gap in the fifth to score two runs.

This season, in 16 at-bats with the bases loaded, Scioscia has seven hits for a .438 average, with 18 RBIs. As a team with the bases loaded, the Dodgers are batting .370 with the bases loaded, with 90 RBIs in 100 at-bats.

But Scioscia's hit was just the beginning for the Dodgers, not to mention the end for Ruffin. Against just-entered reliever Darrel Akerfelds, Mike Sharperson followed with a grounder that shortstop Dickie Thon threw late to the plate in an attempt to get Brooks. All runners were safe, and it just got worse.

The bases were loaded on a fielding error by Akerfelds on a bunt by Hartley. Lenny Harris then drove in two runs with a single, and, two batters later, a grounder by Stan Javier scored the final run. The inning amounted to eight Dodger runs, five unearned, on five hits with two errors and three left.

Hartley needed nothing more, as he was removed from the game after six innings having allowed just one runs on two hits. His only trouble was walks in each of the first three innings, but only one scored, as the Phillies stranded four runners.

The Dodgers' final insult came in the eighth, when Fernando Valenzuela hit a pinch single against Roger McDowell. In his only other pinch-hit attempt this year, Valenzuela, batting .288, doubled.

The Dodgers were enthused with Hartley, who has won four consecutive decisions, two as a starter, with an 0.75 ERA as a starter. But they might also be worried about the middle relievers in their bullpen.

The Phillies scored twice on three hits against Aase in the eighth inning, featuring a two-run double by Von Hayes after singles by Dave Hollins and Lenny Dykstra. The single by Dykstra came on his first at-bat with Rick Dempsey catching since the two players fought at home plate Monday night. There were many oohs from the crowd, but there was no incident.

In the ninth, the Phillies chased reliever Dave Walsh who, despite having an eight-run lead, walked the leadoff hitter Rod Booker. Thon and Hollins followed with run-scoring singles.

Dodger Notes

Juan Samuel didn't start for a third consecutive game. The second baseman has three hits in his last 22 at-bats. . . . Alfredo Griffin returned to the starting lineup after sitting for two games while rookie shortstop Jose Offerman played in his first two major league games. Offerman could still end up starting at least as many games as Griffin in the final six weeks of the season.

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