August 22, 1979: Key Late Hits Lift Pirates Over Giants, 8-6

A pair of late-inning, two-run singles gave the Pirates a come-from-behind, 8-6 win over San Francisco.  Tim Foli got the winning hit and drove in four on the day, all of them with two out.

The Bucs got an early lead, although the Giants scored first.  An error by third baseman Bill Madlock set up a two-run rally against Jim Bibby in the top of the second.  A double by catcher Dennis Littlejohn drove in one run and a single by pitcher Ed Whitson brought in another.

The Pirates came back with four in the bottom half.  Madlock tripled in one run and Ed Ott doubled in a second.  A couple of walks, the last one intentional, brought up Foli with the bases loaded and two out.  Foli lined a single to center to drive in two, making the score 4-2.

Bibby had a quick third, but gave up a two-run blast to Darrell Evans in the fourth to tie the game.  Chuck Tanner batted for Bibby in the bottom of the inning, ending his day with four runs allowed in four innings, two of the runs unearned.

Tanner replaced Bibby with Don Robinson, making his first relief appearance of the year.  Robinson has had rough stretch since late June, with a 6.02 ERA in his last eight starts.  He survived a two-out error and a single in the fifth, but Littlejohn got another RBI double in the sixth to put the Giants up, 5-4.

Whitson left with one out in the fifth, but the Pirates couldn’t do anything with the Giants’ bullpen through the sixth.  The Giants then extended their lead to 6-4 when Jack Clark led off the top of the seventh with a longball off Enrique Romo.

The Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the seventh off Giants’ reliever Greg Minton.  Foli was hit by a pitch and Dave Parker singled him to third.  Parker took second on the throw to third and Willie Stargell singled to score both, making it 6-6.

Kent Tekulve got through the top of the eighth for the Pirates, helped by his signature double-play ball.  In the bottom half, the Pirates got runners to second and third with two out, on two walks and a ground out.  Foli grounded his second two-out, two-run single through the middle to put the Pirates up, 8-6.

Teke threw a perfect ninth to end the game.  He got the win, moving his record to 8-6.  The Expos and Cubs both lost, putting the Pirates three games ahead of Montreal and five ahead of Chicago.

The Bucs are off tomorrow as they travel to the West Coast for a ten-game trip.  They start with three in San Diego.