The Pirates again couldn’t get much offense going, this time against San Diego starter Bob Owchinko. The result was a 3-2 loss, the team’s fourth in a row.
The Pirates got the early lead. In the top of the second, with Rennie Stennett on first, Manny Sanguillen, making his first start at catcher all year, reached on an infield hit to third. A double error on the play, on third baseman Barry Evans and first baseman Dan Briggs, allowed Stennett to come all the way around.
Bruce Kison started for the Pirates, his first start since throwing a one-hit shutout. He started running into trouble in the bottom of the second. The Padres had three straight singles to left with one out, but Kison escaped harm when left fielder Lee Lacy threw the lead runner out at home.
Kison had less luck in the third, when Gene Richards singled, stole second and scored on a single by Dave Winfield. That tied the game, but it got untied in the fourth when Fernando Gonzalez, who had four hits on the day, homered with a man on. Kison departed for a pinch hitter after six, having allowed the three runs and eight hits. Grant Jackson and Kent Tekulve combined to throw scoreless ball in the seventh and eighth.
The Pirates meanwhile struggled to mount a serious threat against Owchinko. They got two on with one out in the third, but Bill Robinson hit into a double play. It wasn’t until the ninth that the Bucs got another runner past first. Lacy led off the inning with a triple, which brought on Rollie Fingers to replace Owchinko. A ground out by Phil Garner scored Lacy and Mike Easler, batting for Stennett, singled. Willie Stargell came up to hit for Sanguillen, but Fingers struck him out and got Ed Ott on a grounder to end the game.
The loss dropped Kison to 3-3. The Pirates remained in fourth, five games behind Montreal.