June 9, 1979: Vida Blue Shuts Down Pirates as Giants Win, 6-2

Giants’ ace Vida Blue came into tonight’s game with the Pirates sporting a 5.98 ERA.  Unfortunately, he flashed back to ace form, shutting the Bucs down after the first inning and going the distance as San Francisco won, 6-2.

All the damage by the Pirates came at the start.  The Giants jumped out to a first-inning, 1-0 lead against Jim Rooker on an RBI double by Jack Clark.  In the bottom half, Dave Parker doubled to center, driving in Omar Moreno and Phil Garner, who’d singled and walked, respectively.

The Pirates didn’t get another hit until Rooker singled with one out in the fifth.  He was doubled off base, though, when Moreno lined out to Mike Ivie at first.  The Pirates’ best chance came when Rennie Stennett and Dale Berra singled with one out in the seventh.  Blue escaped that situation by getting pinch hitter Lee Lacy on a fly ball and Moreno on a grounder.

In the eighth and ninth, the Pirates managed just a walk in each inning.  After Parker walked in the eighth, Blue fanned Bill Robinson and Willie Stargell.  The game ended when Berra hit into a double play.

Rooker meanwhile had a good start.  He gave up six hits before departing for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh.  One was a fourth-inning home run by Bill Madlock that tied the game, 2-2.

After Rooker left, Bruce Kison took over.  Kison had narrowly missed a no-hitter just six days earlier, but now he was back in relief.  This time it didn’t go as well.  After a single and a sacrifice, Kison struck out Ivie, but Madlock doubled in a run.  The Giants sent left-handed Willie McCovey up to hit for shortstop Johnnie LeMaster and Chuck Tanner countered with lefty Grant Jackson.  McCovey foiled the strategy by launching a three-run bomb, putting the Giants up by the final score of 6-2.  Kison took the loss, falling to 3-2.