May 18, 1979: Pirates Outslug Cubs for Third Straight Win

The Pirates won their third straight game, 9-5, by outhitting the Cubs.  Each team had three longballs and, oddly, both starters went the distance.  The Pirates, though, made it count for more.

John Candelaria wasn’t sharp at the start for the Bucs.  The Cubs got two in the first when Mike Vail doubled and Dave Kingman went deep for the 13th time in the young season.  They made it 3-0 in the second when Jerry Martin doubled and Barry Foote drove him in.

In the top of the third, the Pirates responded loudly against lefty Ken Holtzman.  With two out and nobody on, Dave Parker blasted his fifth homer, Bill Robinson tripled and Willie Stargell launched his eighth bomb to tie the game.  It was Stargell’s third home run off a lefty in two days.

The teams traded runs in the fourth.  Rennie Stennett tripled and Dale Berra singled for a run in the top half, but Ted Sizemore tied the game back up with a home run in the bottom half.

The Pirates started to take command in the fifth.  The Cobra singled and Robinson doubled him home, then Robinson later scored on a single by Steve Nicosia.  That made it 6-4, then the Bucs got another two in the eighth on a two-out, two-run double by Phil Garner.

The Cubs made it 8-5 in the bottom of the eighth on a Bill Buckner homer, but the Pirates got that back in the ninth on Nicosia’s third home run.

The Pirates finished with 13 hits, three by Parker and two each by Robinson, Nicosia, Stennett and Berra.  Candelaria made it through despite giving up ten hits, although he walked only one.  The win left him with a 3-2 record.  The Pirates moved to three games under .500 and eight out of first.  They were a game behind the fourth-place Cubs.