By Wilbur Miller
The Pirates managed only four hits in a 2-1 loss to the Mets. With Montreal winning, the Bucs dropped a game out of first.
The lack of offense wasted a good effort by Bert Blyleven. The Dutchman hung on through seven innings despite five walks, giving up just the two runs. His one real stumble came in the top of the third, when he allowed a walk and a single to two ex-Pirates, Frank Taveras and Richie Hebner. A single and a groundout scored them both. Blyleven eventually walked two more to load the bases, but got a popup to end the frame.
Blyleven settled in after that, allowing just four runners over his last four innings. After he left, Enrique Romo followed with two perfect innings.
The offense had less success. The Mets’ starter, Tom Hausman, left with an injury after two scoreless innings. Wayne Twitchell turned out to be a more-than-adequate replacement. He stymied the Bucs on three hits over four and two-thirds innings. He finally left in the seventh, after a bunt single by John Milner and two walks loaded the bases with two out. Reliever Ed Glynn walked Omar Moreno to force in a run, but Tim Foli grounded out.
Glynn breezed through the last two innings. The only runner came on a hit batsman.
The loss left Blyleven at 9-4. The Cubs lost, so they remain two games behind the Pirates. St. Louis will come to Pittsburgh now for two games. Bob Forsch (4-9, 4.72 ERA) and John Fulgham (3-3, 3.09) will face Don Robinson (6-5, 3.97) and Jim Rooker (2-5, 4.00).