August 26, 1979: Huge Day for Bruce Kison as Pirates Hammer Padres, 9-2

Bruce Kison allowed no earned runs over seven innings as the Pirates coasted by San Diego, 9-2, in the rubber match of their three-game series on the West Coast.  But Kison’s pitching wasn’t the most noteworthy part of his day.

Coming a day after their 19-inning win over the Padres, the Pirates needed a solid start and they got one.  Kison allowed seven hits and a walk, and the only run off him was unearned.  It came in the bottom of the seventh, when Fred Kendall reached second on a bad throw by second baseman Rennie Stennett on a double play attempt.  Jerry Turner followed with a two-out RBI single.

Kison had largely breezed up to that point.  He gave up a pair of baserunners with two outs in both the first and second, but got the third out both times.  After that, he allowed just a couple of singles until the seventh.

By the time the Padres got on the board, the Pirates were up, 9-0.  Kison played a big role in that, too.  In the top of the second, with two on, Stennett singled to drive in one run and Steve Nicosia singled to load the bases.  Kison then blasted a grand slam to left.  It was his third career home run and first of this year.  That put the Pirates up, 5-0.

The Pirates added two more in the third on a two-run blast by Bill Madlock.  It was his 13th home run of the season.  Single runs followed in the fifth and sixth.  A Madlock double in the fifth put Lee Lacy on third, from where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Stennett.  In the sixth, Omar Moreno doubled in Phil Garner.  Moreno had sat in favor of Matt Alexander after last night’s marathon, but replaced Dave Parker with the Pirates well ahead.

After Kison left, Enrique Romo, who threw only one inning last night, took the last two innings.  He gave up a bases-loaded single to Bill Almon in the eighth.  The Padres managed to end up with two runners at third on the play, ending the inning and leaving the score where it would stay, at 9-2.

Madlock had four hits on the day.  Lacy had three and scored three times.

Montreal was rained out for the second straight day, leaving the Pirates in first by three games.  Oddly, the teams are even in the loss column, with the Pirates having won six more than the Expos, who are going to be facing some doubleheaders.

The Pirates move on to Los Angeles for three games.  They’ll send Jim Bibby (9-3, 2.94 ERA), John Candelaria (11-8, 3.35) and Bert Blyleven (10-4, 3.62) against Don Sutton (11-12, 3.95), Charlie Hough (4-4, 5.23) and Jerry Reuss (4-11, 4.36).