June 6, 1979: Four-Run Eighth Inning Gives Pirates Win Over Dodgers

A four-run rally, capped by Bill Robinson’s second longball of the game, gave the Pirates a 5-4 win over Los Angeles.  It also gave them the rubber game in their three-game series.

To start the game, LA sent out lefty Jerry Reuss, whom they acquired from the Pirates for Rick Rhoden just after the start of the season.  Reuss had a good game, allowing just five hits and one earned run through seven innings.

His teammates, meanwhile, used the longball against Pirate starter Ed Whitson.  The game’s first run came when Reggie Smith reached Whitson for a home run in the fourth.  Robinson matched that in the bottom half with a two-out homer off Reuss.

The Dodgers went back in front when Whitson gave up another gopher ball in the top of the seventh, this one to Steve Garvey.  The score increased to 4-1 in the eighth when Davey Lopes followed a leadoff single by Reuss with another home run.  That chased Whitson in favor of Enrique Romo, who got the next three hitters.

The Pirates had done little since Robinson’s longball, just a two-out single by Tim Foli in the sixth and a two-out double by Phil Garner in the seventh.  In the bottom of the eighth, though, a leadoff single by Steve Nicosia and a bad throw by Reuss on pinch hitter Manny Sanguillen’s grounder brought another former Pirate lefty, Terry Forster, into the game.  Forster gave up an infield hit to Omar Moreno to load the bases.  A ground out by Tim Foli and a sacrifice fly by Dave Parker plated two runs, making it 4-3.

The Dodgers then went with righty Bob Welch to face Robinson.  The Pirates’ first baseman greeted him with his second home run of the game, driving in Moreno and making it 5-4 Pirates.  It was Robinson’s second two-homer game in four days and gave him 14 dingers on the year.

Chuck Tanner went to Kent Tekulve in the ninth.  Vic Davalillo led off with an infield hit, but Teke got a popup and a double play to end the game.

The win went to Romo, making him 2-2.  Teke got his sixth save.  The Bucs moved into third place, percentage points ahead of the Phading Phillies and four games behind Montreal.  The team is off tomorrow, with San Francisco heading into town.