May 16, 1979: Mike Easler Walks It Off in 13

Mike Easler found a good time for his first home run of the year and the second of his career.  The longball gave the Pirates a 4-3, walkoff win over the Mets in 13 innings.

The Bucs got a good start from Bert Blyleven, who lasted eight innings.  After allowing a two-out, run-scoring single to Doug Flynn in the top of the second, Blyleven shut the Mets down through five.

The Pirates meanwhile got their first hit off Kevin Kobel when Omar Moreno tripled with two out in the third.  An error on Mets’ third baseman Richie Hebner tied the game at 1-1.

It stayed that way until the sixth, when a double and two walks loaded the bases against Blyleven.  Joel Youngblood hit a two-out single to score one run, but left fielder Bill Robinson threw Willie Montanez out at the plate to end the inning with the score 2-1.

The Mets’ lead didn’t last long.  The Pirates tied the game in the bottom half when Moreno reached on a single, Phil Garner bunted him to second and Dave Parker singled in the run.  Pops led off the bottom of the seventh with his fifth longball of the season to put the Pirates up, 3-2.

Some less-than-stellar support in the ninth cost Blyleven a win.  After a leadoff single, Dale Berra, subbing at short as Tim Foli had a minor injury, let John Stearns reach on an error.  Kent Tekulve relieved the Dutchman and gave up a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to load the bases.  Grant Jackson came on to face left-handed pinch hitter Ron Hodges and Joe Torre countered with Gil Flores, a righty.  Flores skied one to center and the game was tied.  Blyleven was charged with three runs, one unearned, and just five hits in eight innings.

The next few innings produced occasional excitement.  Steve Nicosia hit a two-out double in the ninth, but Rennie Stennett popped up.  The Mets got runners to the corners with one out in the tenth, but Jim Bibby relieved Jackson to fan Steve Henderson and get a lineout.  In the 11th, Bruce Boisclair got a two-out single off Enrique Romo and Frank Taveras followed with an infield hit.  The threat died, though, because the Pirates caught Boisclair trying to go to third.  Romo gave up a two-out double in the 13th, but got the next guy.

In the bottom of the 13th, Chuck Tanner sent Easler up to hit for Romo against Skip Lockwood, who was going into his third inning.  Easler went deep to give the Pirates a 4-3 win.

Romo threw three scoreless innings to get the win.  That moved his record to 1-2.  The Pirates had only seven hits, three by Moreno.