The Pirates’ bullpen failed to hold a 2-1 lead over Los Angeles in the bottom of the ninth and lost, 4-2, on a two-out, three-run home run by Dusty Baker. A nice effort by Jim Bibby, both on the mound and at the plate, was wasted in the process.
Bibby gave up one run on six hits over six and a third innings. He also gave the Pirates their first lead with a solo home run off Don Sutton in the bottom of the third. It was Bibby’s second longball of the season.
On the mound, Bibby retired the first ten batters he faced. Bill Russell broke up that string in the fourth with a dribbler back to the mound that went for a single. The Dodgers loaded the bases with two out, but Bibby got Gary Thomasson to line out. In the fifth, though, Los Angeles tied the game on a two-out, RBI double by Davey Lopes.
Sutton meanwhile was setting the Pirates down. Bibby’s homer provided their only baserunner until one out in the sixth, when Bibby singled. The Pirates eventually loaded the bases but didn’t score. In the seventh, though, the Bucs went up, 2-1, when John Milner, Bill Madlock and Phil Garner all singled, the last one driving in the run.
Bibby departed after a pair of one-out singles in the bottom of the seventh. Kent Tekulve relieved and, after a walk that loaded the bases, got a double play grounder to end the inning. Teke followed with a 1-2-3 eighth.
The Pirates’ lead lasted into the bottom of the ninth. Teke gave up a pair of one-out singles and Chuck Tanner went to Enrique Romo. A wild pitch put runners on second and third, then Romo got a lineout to center that didn’t score anybody. With two out, though, Baker homered to left to give the Dodgers a 4-2 win.
Tekulve took the loss to fall to 8-7. The Pirates had only six hits, two each by Bibby and Madlock. The Expos lost to Houston, so the Pirates’ lead in the NL East stands at three games.