May 21, 1979: Pirates, Blyleven Beat Expos to Extend Win Streak to Six

Bert Blyleven got his first win of the season and the Pirates extended their winning streak to six in a 4-2 win in Montreal.  The victory brought the Bucs back to .500 for the first time since April 14.

Blyleven largely cruised through eight and a third innings, allowing six hits and two walks, and striking out six.  After Omar Moreno led off the game with his second home run of the year, the Expos got an unearned run without a hit to tie it in the bottom of the first.  Rodney Scott walked, stole second, went to third when Rennie Stennett couldn’t handle the throw on the steal, and scored on a fly ball.  The other run came in the fourth, when Tony Perez led off with a home run.

Other than the two runs, the only real trouble Blyleven had came in the second.  Singles by Ellis Valentine and Larry Parrish put runners at the corners with one out, but the Dutchman picked Parrish off first and, after a walk, got a groundout to end the inning.  Following a leadoff single in the fifth, Blyleven retired 13 straight batters.

Blyleven helped himself at the plate, too.  The game stayed tied, 1-1, until the top of the fourth.  With Stennett on second via a double, Blyleven got the run home with a two-out single.

After Montreal tied the game a second time, the Bucs went back to the longball.  With two out in the fifth, Willie Stargell connected off Scott Sanderson for his ninth on the season, putting the Bucs up, 3-2.  Ed Ott gave the Pirates an insurance run in the eighth with his third homer, this one off the lefty Rudy May.

In the ninth, Blyleven retired the first batter, but gave up a double to Tony Perez.  That brought on Kent Tekulve, who got Gary Carter on a grounder and fanned Valentine.  Blyleven’s record improved to 1-2 and Teke got his fourth save.  Stennett had three hits and Pops two.  Tim Foli returned to action at short, playing for the first time in six days.