Phil Garner had five hits and Ed Ott drove in three runs to help the Pirates beat San Francisco, 9-4. The win was their fourth in a row.
The Bucs took control of the game with a five-run third inning. Going into the inning they trailed, 2-1. They’d gotten an early lead when Dave Parker and Willie Stargell doubled off Giants’ starter John Montefusco in the top of the first. The Giants tied it in the bottom half when Bill North led off with a home run off John Candelaria.
San Francisco took the lead in an odd second inning in which they made three outs at the plate. Two singles to start the inning put runners at the corner, but Johnnie LeMaster grounded to short and Tim Foli caught the lead runner at the plate. A walk loaded the bases, but the Pirates got a second out when Montefusco hit into a force at the plate. North then singled to right to drive in LeMaster, but the Cobra threw out the second runner.
The Pirates came storming back in the top of the third. It all started with two out. Pops walked, Bill Robinson singled and Ott doubled to drive in both. Garner then tripled to drive in Ott. The Giants put Rennie Stennett on to get to Candelaria, but the Candy Man doubled to drive in two more and chase Montefusco. That made it 6-2.
Candelaria allowed only one runner from the third through the fifth, but ran into trouble again in the sixth. Solo home runs by Jack Clark and Larry Herndon cut the Bucs’ lead to 6-4.
Chuck Tanner stayed with Candelaria to start the seventh, but went to Enrique Romo after a leadoff walk. Romo had an outstanding outing, retiring six straight before allowing a leadoff single in the ninth. Romo followed by getting a double play and a groundout.
The Pirates meanwhile had tacked on in the top of the ninth. Pops led off the inning with his 12th home run of the year. Later in the inning, an RBI single by Ott and a sacrifice fly by Stennett made it 9-4.
Candelaria improved to 5-6 while Romo picked up his first Pirate save. The Bucs had 15 hits in the game, with Garner’s five and three by Ott leading the way. A Phillies loss put the Pirates in third place, half a game behind St. Louis and four and a half behind Montreal.