Don Robinson didn’t have one of his better starts and the Pirates failed to capitalize fully on some early chances in St. Louis. The end result was a 4-3 loss.
The Bucs got on the board first, in the second inning. Lee Lacy walked and stole second, then scored on a two-out single by Rennie Stennett. Steve Nicosia doubled Stennett to third, but Robinson, a good hitter for a pitcher, grounded out.
The Cards came right back in the bottom half to take the lead, although it could have been worse. A walk and three straight singles to start the inning plated two, but Robinson avoided any more damage.
The Pirates missed more chances in the next two innings, although they managed to tie the game, 2-2, in the fourth. Tim Foli and Dave Parker singled with one out in the third, but Bill Robinson — playing first for the injured Willie Stargell — and Lacy stranded the runners. In the fourth, Phil Garner and Stennett led off with singles, then pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third. Nicosia singled to score Garner, but Joggin’ George Hendrick threw Stennett out at home. With two out, Omar Moreno beat out a bunt, with Nicosia taking third, but Moreno got thrown out trying to steal second.
The Cards got the lead back in the bottom half. Tony Scott singled, stole second and came around on a wild pitch and fly ball. They made it 4-2 in the fifth when Lou Brock led off with his second of three singles and scored with two outs on Scott’s third single.
The Pirates’ chances against Bob Sykes started drying up. They got their last run in the seventh when Manny Sanguillen, batting for Robinson, led off with a double and came around on a wild pitch and a groundout by Foli. But that was their last threat. While Ed Whitson kept the Cards off the board for two innings, Buddy Schultz came on to start the eighth for the Cards and retired six straight.
Robinson finished with four runs and nine hits, all singles, allowed over six innings. The loss dropped him to 2-2. The Pirates had ten hits, two each by Stennett and Nicosia.