Don Robinson threw a complete game as the Pirates won for the second time in Los Angeles, 6-3. Robinson allowed just five hits, although he also walked five. He fanned six.
Robinson gave up leadoff walks in the first two innings and a two-out single in the third, but no runner got past first. The only damage against him came in the fourth. A single by Steve Garvey and a double by Ron Cey put runners on second and third with nobody out. Robinson nearly escaped when he struck out Dusty Baker and Gary Thomasson, but with two out Joe Ferguson launched a three-run bomb to cut the Pirates’ lead to 4-3.
The Pirates were ahead due to a big third inning. With two on and one out against Bob Welch, Omar Moreno belted his fourth home run of the year to make it 3-0. The next four hitters — Tim Foli, Dave Parker, Willie Stargell and John Milner — all singled. Only Milner’s hit drove in a run, though, because Foli got thrown out at the plate on Pops’ hit. That made the lead 4-0.
After LA cut the lead to one, the Pirates got some insurance. Moreno’s wheels produced a hitless run in the fifth. Moreno took second when Thomasson muffed his fly to center. He then stole third — his 26th theft of the season — and scored when Ferguson threw the ball away. Still facing Welch, the Bucs made it 6-3 in the sixth when Phil Garner singled and Ed Ott doubled him home.
Robinson meanwhile shut down the Dodgers. He walked batters in both the fifth and sixth, but both were erased by double plays. A two-out double by old friend Vic Davalillo in the seventh went nowhere. The last LA runner was a two-out walk in the ninth, but Robinson fanned Ferguson to end the game.
The win moved Robinson to 5-3. The Pirates had a dozen hits, two each by Moreno, Foli, Garner and Ott. They remain a game behind the Phillies for third and five behind the Expos for first.