San Francisco lefty Bob Knepper threw a complete game six-hitter as the Giants beat the Pirates, 6-1. The Expos and Cubs also lost, so the Bucs’ division lead holds at two games over Montreal and four over Chicago.
The Pirates did their only damage in the bottom of the first inning. Dave Parker launched his 22nd home run of the year to straight-away center to put the Bucs ahead.
After that, the Pirates erased some of their own chances. Starting pitcher Bruce Kison led off the third with a double, but managed to get himself picked off. A one-out single by Bill Robinson in the next inning was wiped out by a double play.
Kison meanwhile shut the Giants down for a while. He allowed just a hit and a walk through the first five innings.
Things went bad in the top of the sixth and a one-out single by Knepper started it. Bill North doubled and Knepper scored when Joe Strain reached on an error by third baseman Bill Madlock. Jack Clark then launched a three-run home run to put San Francisco up, 4-1. Kison fanned Willie McCovey, but a single and a walk ended his day, with four runs allowed, three earned, in five and two-thirds innings. Enrique Romo got the last out of the inning.
Until the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates got only two more hits, and one of those was wiped out on a double play. By then, they were down 6-1, as Grant Jackson gave up a two-run bomb to Dennis Littlejohn in the top of the inning. The Bucs loaded the bases in the bottom half, but Madlock grounded out to end it.
The loss left Kison at 8-7. Omar Moreno was the only Pirate with two hits.