Jim Bibby had a good start, and Bill Robinson had three hits and three runs, to lead the Pirates to a 7-3 win in the rubber match of their three-game series in Atlanta. The win kept the Pirates within four games of first as they head into the All-Star break.
Bibby had a shaky first inning. The Braves scored three batters into the inning, as Rowland Office doubled in Jerry Royster. Bibby fanned Bob Horner, but a walk and a wild pitch put runners at second and third before he got a popup to end the inning.
After that, Bibby settled in. The Braves’ only runners through the sixth inning came on two walks and an error.
The Pirates meanwhile chipped away against Braves’ starter Eddie Solomon. They tied the game in the third when Omar Moreno singled in Ed Ott. The next inning, a single by Bill Madlock gave them a 2-1 lead. Madlock drove in Robinson, who’d singled and stolen second.
The Bucs took control of the game in the top of the sixth, when Willie Stargell and Bill Robinson hit back-to-back blasts. The longballs were Stargell’s 18th and Robinson’s 19th.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bibby issued a one-out walk and Chuck Tanner decided it was time to go to the bullpen. Bibby had given up just two hits and walked four in six and a third innings. Grant Jackson came on to strike out Charlie Spikes, but Royster took him deep for a two-run shot, with one run charged to Bibby. With the score 4-3, Enrique Romo got the last out of the inning.
The eighth was mostly uneventful. Romo issued a two-out walk, but catcher Ed Ott cut down pinch runner Barry Bonnell stealing to end the inning.
The Bucs sewed the game up in the ninth with three runs off former Pirate Gene Garber. Robinson and Madlock started the inning with singles, and Rennie Stennett and Moreno later singled in runs. The other run scored on a passed ball. Kent Tekulve threw a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the 7-3 win.
The win improved Bibby’s record to 5-2. Moreno had two steals to give him 39 on the year, tied for the league lead. The Pirates go into the break 46-39. They’re in fourth place, a game behind the Phillies, and a game and a half behind the Cubs.