June 10, 1979: Bucs’ Defense Costs Them in Loss to Giants

A pair of errors made the difference as the Pirates dropped a 7-4 decision to San Francisco.  The win gave the Giants two of three in the series at TRS.

Bert Blyleven had a shaky start, giving up ten hits over five innings.  Still, he gave up only one run through the fifth.  That came in the third when Jack Clark doubled with two on, leaving runners at second and third with one out.  Blyleven avoided further damage by intentionally walking Willie McCovey and getting Bill Madlock to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

At the time, that tied the score.  The Pirates had gotten a run in the bottom of the first when Bill Robinson tripled to drive in Phil Garner, who’d reached on an infield hit.  After the Giants scored in the third, Robinson put the Pirates ahead again in the bottom half.  He singled to drive in Omar Moreno, who’d singled and stolen second.

The Giants knocked Blyleven out in the top of the sixth.  Madlock led off with a triple, which was followed by two singles.  That brought on Enrique Romo, who got Roger Metzger to bounce back to the box.  The Bucs got nobody, though, as Dale Berra — subbing at short for the injured Tim Foli — couldn’t handle Romo’s throw to second.  The error loaded the bases and Romo walked Mike Ivie to force in a run.  With the bases loaded and still nobody out, Romo got a popup and then a double play when Robinson took Madlock’s bouncer, stepped on first and threw to the plate to catch the runner.

The Pirates took the lead for the third time by getting the two runs back in the bottom of the sixth.  Lee Lacy doubled and scored on a single by Steve Nicosia, who then scored on a double by Berra.

The Pirates were let down again by their defense in the top of the seventh.  A Phil Garner error put the first batter on, and a walk and single followed, tying the score 4-4 and chasing Romo.  Grant Jackson came on to face the left-handed Darrell Evans and allowed another RBI single to put the Giants ahead.  Two batters later the Giants made it 6-4 on a squeeze bunt.

The Giants went to Gary Lavelle in the seventh and he shut the Pirates down for the final three innings.  The only runner he allowed came on a two-out single by Moreno in the ninth.  The Giants in the meantime got a longball from Clark, leaving the final at 7-4.

Romo took the loss, dropping him to 3-3.  He got charged with three runs, only one of them earned.  Jackson threw the last three innings, allowing one run.  Moreno, Garner, Robinson and Lacy each had two hits.  The loss leaves the Pirates percentage points ahead of the Phillies for third place and three games behind the Expos and Cards, who are tied for first.

The Pirates are off tomorrow as they travel to San Diego.