NEW YORK--Ron Guidry proved here last night at Yankee Stadium that he really is human. Well, kind of.
Guidry, aided by the brilliant fielding of Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles, steered his New York teammates to a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and his 27th win of the year.
A crowd of 56,000 plus watched the Yanks win their first game in three shots at the Dodgers.
Working out of his usual fast delivery, Guidry was unusually erratic, as he walked six batters in the opening six innings. But it was brilliant fielding by Nettles that saved "the ragin Cajun's" first series win of '78.
It was rumored last night that Dodger second baseman Davey Lopes put a contract out on Nettles, who grabbed two line shots ripped by Lopes with L.A. runners on third. Nettles' amazing plays saved a total of four runs for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yanks tallied early on a Roy White homer which squeaked inside the right-field foul pole. In the second inning, Bucky Dent popped a grounder to third base, scoring Nettles for a 2-1 Yankee lead.
The Dodgers countered in the top of the third when center-fielder Bill North scored on a Bill Russell grounder to deep short. A close call by the first-base umpire (giving rise to Yankee fans' cries of "Bullshit, bullshit") helped out on the play.
After a three-inning dry spell for both clubs, the Yankees sent Dodger starter Don Sutton to the showers with a three-run rally in the seventh.
Dent singled to left to start the rally, and centerfielder Mickey Rivers beat out a beautiful bunt on the following play to put men on first and second. Roy White then sacrificed Dent to third, with pinch-runner Paul Blair breaking up a Dodger double-play effort.
Dent then came home on a Ron Cey error that was labeled a hit, putting the New Yorkers on top, 3-1.
Reggie Jackson laced a single to center off Dodger reliever Lance Rauthzhan to score yet another Yankee run.
The Dodgers left ten men stranded on eight hits, while the Yankees managed 10 hits on the night.
Yankee hurler Ed Figueroa will face the Dodgers' Tommy John at 3:30 here tomorrow in Game Four.
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