June 30, 1979: Longball Hurts Blyleven in Loss to Expos

Montreal used the longball against the Pirates, homering three times total off Bert Blyleven and Grant Jackson.  The Pirates made a run in the ninth but it fell short as they lost, 5-3.

Things started off well enough, as the Bucs scored twice in the first.  Tim Foli doubled in Omar Moreno, then came around on a grounder and a sacrifice fly by Willie Stargell.

After that, though, the Pirates got nowhere with Scott Sanderson.  They had some chances, leaving the bases loaded in the second and stranding two in the fifth, but couldn’t break through.

The Dutchman kept the Expos off the board until the fourth, when Andre Dawson led off with a home run.  Montreal loaded the bases later in the inning, but Blyleven fanned Sanderson to get out of it.  In the top of the sixth, however, a two-run home run by Larry Parrish put Montreal on top, 3-2.

Blyleven departed when Dave Cash led off the seventh with a double.  Grant Jackson came on to retire left-handed Warren Cromartie, but switch hitter Rodney Scott took Jackson deep for just his second career homer.  That made it 5-2.

Sanderson left after the sixth, but Elias Sosa followed him with two scoreless innings.  The Pirates rallied against Sosa in the ninth.  Singles by Phil Garner and Omar Moreno put two on with two out, and Foli singled to make it 5-3.  With the tying runs on, though, left-hander Woodie Fryman came on to get Dave Parker on a grounder.

The loss dropped Blyleven to 5-3.  Dave Roberts, just acquired along with Bill Madlock, made his Pirates debut by retiring six straight over the last two innings.  Moreno and Foli each had two hits.  The Pirates dropped into a three-way tie for second, six and a half games behind Montreal.