June 23, 1979: Pirates’ Win Streak Ends With Loss to Cubs

The Pirates dropped a 4-3 decision to Chicago, ending their winning streak at six.  Don Robinson held the Cubs to five hits over seven innings, but four of the runners scored.

The Pirates couldn’t do much with Cubs starter Mike Krukow, who gave up just one run over six innings.  They had their chances.  They stranded two in the first.  In the fourth, Lee Lacy led off with a double but got picked off.  Lacy was in the wrong place at the wrong time again in the sixth, striking out for a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play with, of all people, Willie Stargell on base.  That wasted a double by the next hitter, Ed Ott.

The only time the Bucs got through to Krukow was in the third, when they took a brief, 1-0 lead.  Omar Moreno singled, stole second — his 29th steal of the season — and scored on a single by Dave Parker.

The lead lasted two batters into the top of the fourth.  The only baserunner off Robinson in the first three innings reached on an error.  In the fourth, though, Bobby Murcer led off with a single and Bill Buckner homered to right, putting Chicago on top.  Robinson retired the next ten batters, but with one out in the seventh Robinson gave up back-to-back doubles, then after an out a single drove in a second run to make the score 4-1.

The Cubs hit for Krukow in the top of the seventh and went to their relief ace, Bruce Sutter, in the bottom half.  Sutter’s control wasn’t good, and two walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out.  Parker singled to drive in both, giving him three RBIs on the day.  That made it 4-3.

Grant Jackson followed Robinson with two scoreless innings, but the Pirates couldn’t manage another baserunner off Sutter.  The loss left Robinson’s record at 5-4.  The Pirates had only seven hits, two each by Parker and Ott.  The loss dropped them five and a half games behind Montreal, into a second-place tie with St. Louis.