May 27, 1979: Bill Robinson’s Blast Gives Pirates 2-1 Win Over Mets

The Pirates lost starter Jim Bibby in the fourth inning of a good start.  The bullpen, though, held the fort until a Bill Robinson home run in the top of the ninth gave the Pirates a 2-1 win in New York.

Bibby threw three scoreless innings, pitching around a harmless single in each.  In the fourth, though, he left with what appeared to be a minor injury, with one out and a man on first.  Bruce Kison relieved and got a double play.

The Pirates led, 1-0, when Bibby departed.  That run came in the first when a Dave Parker single drove in Omar Moreno.  Oddly, Robinson — playing first against Mets lefty Kevin Kobel, bunted Parker to second with one out.  Kobel ultimately got Steve Nicosia on a fly ball to leave runners at the corners.

Neither team did anything of note at the plate for some time after that.  Kison faced the minimum in the fifth and sixth, with the help of another double play.  In the bottom of the seventh, though, Lee Mazzilli homered off Kison to tie the game.  Kison left after the seventh, having allowed just the one run and one hit in three and two-thirds innings.

With Enrique Romo on for the eighth, the Mets loaded the bases with one out on a single, a fielder’s choice and an error on shortstop Tim Foli.  Chuck Tanner brought in Grant Jackson to face left-handed Ed Kranepool, who was batting for Frank Taveras.  The Mets replaced Kranepool with right-handed Elliott Maddox.  Jackson came through, catching Maddox looking and also fanning Mazzilli.

With the score 1-1 in the top of the ninth, the Mets replaced Kobel, who’d left for a pinch hitter, with Dale Murray.  Robinson immediately greeted Murray with his eighth home run of the season to make it 2-1.

Jackson stayed on for the ninth and retired the side in order, striking out John Stearns to end the game.  Jackson’s perfect inning and two-thirds ran his record to 3-0.  Parker and Robinson each had two hits and the Pirates reclaimed fourth place from the Cubs.