The Pirates dropped St. Louis for the third straight time, 7-4, behind four RBIs by Ed Ott and a solid start from Ed Whitson.
The Pirates got the early lead this time, although they could have had more. Frank Taveras started the bottom of the first with a single off Bob Forsch, but got picked off. Omar Moreno followed with another single and scored on a double by Dave Parker. John Milner, still subbing for Willie Stargell and still hot, singled in Parker for a 2-0 lead.
St. Louis got one back in the third when two singles and a Rennie Stennett error loaded the bases with one out. Whitson limited the damage to one run, which scored on a grounder. The Pirates made it 3-1 in the bottom half. A double by Taveras, a single and steal by Moreno and a plunking of the Cobra loaded the bases with nobody out, but a Milner sacrifice fly produced the only run.
Other than the third inning run, Whitson sailed along until the fifth, when he walked Forsch to start the inning. A ground out and a single by Keith Hernandez got a run home, but the Pirates cut off Parker’s throw home and caught Hernandez rounding first to end the inning.
The Cards tied the game, 3-3, with an unearned run in the sixth. The Pirates, though, untied it for good in the bottom half. Milner singled and stole second and, after a couple strikeouts, Ott unloaded his second home run of the year to make it 5-3.
Whitson continued pitching well, with 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth. Ott added insurance in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run triple off lefty Darold Knowles.
Whitson finally exited after allowing a walk and single to start the ninth. Grant Jackson relieved and retired three straight batters, one on a sac fly to make the score 7-4. Whitson finished with four runs allowed, two of them unearned, over eight innings. He gave up six hits and four walks in posting his first win. Jackson got his second save. Taveras, Moreno, Milner and Ott each had two hits, and the Bucs evened their record at 4-4.