August 30, 1979: Pirates Finish West Coast Trip With Four Games in San Francisco

The Pirates will conclude their ten-game West Coast trip starting tomorrow with four games against the Giants.  They’re currently in first place in the NL East, three games ahead of Montreal, which was also idle today.  The Pirates are even in the loss column, though; they have six more wins than the Expos.  The Cubs are five and a half back.  The Giants are well out of it in the West, which the Reds lead by a game and a half over the slumping Astros.

Tomorrow the Pirates will send Don Robinson (6-6, 4.08 ERA) against lefty John Curtis (9-8, 4.22).  On Saturday they’ll play a doubleheader, with Bruce Kison (9-7, 3.53) and Jim Bibby (9-3, 2.84) facing John Montefusco (3-5, 3.95) and Bob Knepper (9-9, 4.30).  The series finale will pit John Candelaria (12-8, 3.23) against Vida Blue (10-12, 5.19).

Rosters will expand to 40 just in time for the doubleheader.  The Pirates are expected to add several players:

Dale Berra, IF:  Berra opened the season with the Pirates as a utility infielder.  He struggled in the field and at the plate, batting 196/276/283 through late June.  He was sent down when the Pirates acquired Bill Madlock.  In 56 games in AAA, Berra batted 324/387/490.

Doe Boyland, IF:  A first baseman drafted in the second round by the Pirates in 1976, Boyland got to AAA in 1978, batting .291 with a dozen home runs.  He played briefly for the Pirates, going 2-for-8.  He’s missed much of this year, appearing in 30 games in AAA and batting .245 with two home runs.  The left-handed hitter figures to serve mainly as a pinch hitter.

Alberto Lois, OF:  Lois appeared in two games with the Pirates in August, both as a pinch runner.  He figures to give the Pirates a second pinch running specialist to go with Matt Alexander.  Signed by the Pirates out of the Dominican, Lois played in only 18 minor league games this year, at three different levels.  He’s a career .286 hitter in 431 minor league games.

Jim Rooker, LHP:  Rooker will be returning from his second stint on the disabled list.  He’s made 14 starts with the Bucs this year, going 2-6, 4.80.

Joe Coleman, RHP:  The Pirates picked up the veteran right-hander in mid-July and sent him to AAA in mid-August.  He made seven relief appearances with them, getting no decisions and allowing 12 earned runs in 17.2 IP.