Shortly after the Phillie Phanatic crushed a Dodger helmet while doing a dance and Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda responded by throwing a baseball at the mascot, the Dodger offense came to life, proving that you never know what it is going to take to win a ballgame.
"I told that guy (the Phanatic) that I don't want him to do anything to destroy Dodger property," Lasorda said.
The Dodgers scored two runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in that sixth inning, giving them an eventual 3-2 victory and a split of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies before 58,247 at Veterans Stadium on Friday night. The Phillies won the first game, 4-3.
The Dodgers beat a dominating left-hander, Danny Jackson (11-4), who gave up 10 hits before leaving after seven innings. The Dodgers got only five hits in the first game, three against left-hander David West (4-7).
"It would have been more satisfying to beat the Phillies in both games, obviously, but we did it against one of the best pitchers in the league--this is big for us, " Dodger third baseman Tim Wallach said.
Dodger starter Tom Candiotti (7-4) gave up four
hits in six innings, but began to tire in the heat and humidity and was replaced by Ismael Valdes, who had pitched a scoreless inning in the first game.
Valdes walked leadoff batter Kevin Stocker, but struck out Mariano Duncan, stranding Stocker at third base.
"I was ready to pitch, " Valdes said. "I would be there to help the team. It's why we are here."
Todd Worrell pitched the final two innings for his eighth save, retiring six of seven. The one who got away was pinch-hitter Jim Eisenreich, who hit a solo home run.
Losing both games would have been a disastrous start to the Dodgers' longest trip of the season, and especially at a time when the San Francisco Giants, with the help of Darryl Strawberry, have won six games in a row to move to six games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
Things looked dismal after the first game, which began before a crowd of about 500 who braved stifling heat and humidity.
It was so hot that the Delaware River mud the umpires rub on new baseballs was dripping from the balls.
"I looked at the umpire's pocket where he keeps the balls, and it was soaking wet," said Gross (7-6), who took the loss in the first game.
"So (David) West and I were out there on the mound rubbing the mud off."
The Dodger offense, however, remained cold, except for Wallach, who went three for seven over both games with one run batted in and two runs scored.
Rafael Bournigal hit a two-run double in the first game and Raul Mondesi went two for four and scored two runs in the second game.
"Unfortunately, we have one of those teams where when one guy is out, they all go out," batting coach Reggie Smith said.
"We are working on things and hopefully will ride through this, but it is unique. Usually one man can carry a club and we have guys who can in (Mike) Piazza, Wallach and (Eric) Karros. But they seem to be tied together . . . when one is hot, they all are and when one is not hitting well, the others seem to be in the same boat."