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PHILADELPHIA--Greg Luzinski, battling a near-season-long slump, hammered a two-run homer that carried the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-1 victory over Houston in Tuesday night's opening game of the 1980 National League Championship series.
Luzinski's sixth-inning shot off Ken Forsch erased a 1-0 Astro lead and set of fireworks over Veterans' Stadium as a playoff-record crowd of 65,277 howled.
Forsch had been locked in a tight duel with Steve Carlton, ace of the Phillies' staff, but after Luzinski's homer gave Philadelphia the lead, it fell to relief ace Tug McGraw to nail down the victory.
Carlton struggled through the Astros' seventh, allowing two hits. A neat pickoff throw by catcher Bob Boone short-circuited the Houston rally and then, in the bottom of the seventh, Phillies Manager Dallas Green lifted his top starter for a pinch-hitter.
It was a bold move that paid off when Greg Gross stroked an RBI single to left, giving Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.
The rest was up to McGraw, and the veteran left-hander preserved the victory.
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