May 30, 1979: Rooker Throws Two-Hitter as Pirates Stomp Cubs

In his third start since returning from the disabled list, Jim Rooker went the distance against Chicago to give the Pirates their fourth straight win, 9-2.  Rooker walked three and allowed only one earned run.  In those three starts, Rooker’s allowed only two earned runs in 24.1 IP.

The Pirates got Rooker all the runs he’d need in the bottom of the first, sending nine men to the plate.  Tim Foli tripled with one out and Dave Parker brought him in with a sacrifice fly.  That only started the scoring, as the next five batters — Willie Stargell, John Milner, Ed Ott, Dale Berra and Phil Garner — all singled off Lynn McGlothen, running the score to 4-0.

The Cubs got one of those back in the third on a walk, a ground out and an error by third baseman Berra.  Rooker didn’t give up his first hit, though, until the fourth, when Dave Kingman hit a one-out home run to close the gap to 4-2.  After that, a leadoff single by Barry Foote in the fifth was the Cubs’ only other hit.

For their part, the Pirates were far from finished.  On the game, they pounded out 17 hits off McGlothen, Willie Hernandez and Donnie Moore.  Stargell pushed the lead back to three with his tenth home run of the year to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

Three more runs came home in the seventh.  Parker started it with a double, Pops singled him home, and Bill Robinson, batting for Milner against the lefty Hernandez, drove his tenth home run to left.  The Bucs finally made it 9-2 in the eighth when Robinson singled in Omar Moreno, who’d singled and stolen second, his 19th steal in the team’s first 43 games.

Rooker meanwhile was perfect from the sixth through the eighth.  He had some trouble in the ninth, walking two of the first three batters, with a strikeout of Kingman in between.  Chuck Tanner stuck with the lefty, though, and Rooker got the next two hitters to finish the complete game.

The win moved Rooker to 2-0 and gave Grant Jackson his first rest in nearly a week.  Moreno, Stargell and Garner each had three hits, Pops scored three times and Robinson drove in three.  The Pirates go for the sweep tomorrow.