June 5, 1979: Blyleven Overcomes Shaky Control to Beat Dodgers, 3-1

Bert Blyleven didn’t have the tidiest outing ever, but it did the job in a 3-1 win over Los Angeles.  The Dutchman walked seven, but held on through seven and a third innings, allowing just a run and six hits.

The Pirates got what turned out to be all they needed in the first.  With one out, Tim Foli singled and Dave Parker took Don Sutton over the right field fence for his 11th home run of the season.

Blyleven by then had already survived a difficult top of the first.  A leadoff walk to Davey Lopes, a steal and a ground out put a runner on third with one out.  Blyleven struck out Reggie Smith to keep Lopes at third, then walked two more batters before getting Dusty Baker on a grounder.

Gary Thomasson cut the Pirates’ lead to 2-1 when he led off the second with a home run.  Blyleven also gave up a walk and a single in the inning, but got out of it with a double play.

From there, Blyleven mainly kept things in check.  The Dodgers got two on with two out in the sixth, but Blyleven retired former Pirate Vic Davalillo, who was batting for Sutton, on a grounder.

In the eighth, Blyleven walked Baker and Thomasson with one out.  That brought on Kent Tekulve, who got Joe Ferguson to bounce into an around-the-horn double play to end the threat.

The Pirates got an insurance run in the eighth when Bill Robinson reached on a two-out error and came around on singles by Ed Ott and Rennie Stennett.  In the top of the ninth, Teke gave up a leadoff single, but after a fly out he got another 5-4-3 double play to end the game.

The win evened Blyleven’s record at 2-2 and Teke recorded his fifth save.  The Pirates had eight hits, with Robinson and Ott each getting two.  The Pirates remain in fourth, but have moved back to with four of Montreal, which lost to Atlanta.

As a side note, MLB held its amateur draft today.  The Pirates selected a few notable names.  In the first round, 8th overall in the secondary phase, they picked right hander Mike Bielecki.  In the regular drafted they picked right hander Jose De Leon in round three and catcher Joel Skinner in round 37.