September 2, 1979: Pirates Finish Sweep of Giants with 5-3 Win

John Candelaria threw a complete game as the Pirates beat San Francisco, 5-3.  The win gave them a sweep of the teams’ four-game series and left the Pirates with a record of 8-2 on their West Coast trip.

Candelaria didn’t dominate, as he gave up nine hits.  He fanned ten, though, and avoided any big rallies.

The Pirates never trailed after getting two runs in the top of the second.  Steve Nicosia doubled off Vida Blue to drive in Bill Madlock and Dale Berra, both of whom had walked.  Berra remained at short with Tim Foli out.

The Giants got one back in the bottom half when Terry Whitfield tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, but the Pirates answered in the top of the third.  Omar Moreno singled, stole his 60th base on the season, and scored on a two out single by Bill Robinson to make the score 3-1.  The Giants closed to within one again in the bottom of the fourth when Larry Herndon went deep, but that was all the scoring until the seventh.

The teams traded runs again in the seventh.  Nicosia walked, went to second on a bunt by Candelaria, and scored on a double by Moreno.  The Giants got it back when Bill North drove in a run with a two-out single.

Over the last two innings, Candelaria kept the Giants in check.  He gave up just a two-out single in each inning.  The Pirates got an insurance run in the top of the ninth to account for the 5-3 final.  Nicosia doubled for the second time and his pinch runner, Matt Alexander, scored on a triple by Phil Garner.

The win left Candelaria with a 13-8 record.  Montreal won for the fifth straight time, staying three and a half back, and tied in the loss column.

The Pirates face a tough schedule in the short term.  They fly back to Pittsburgh to face the Phillies in a Labor day doubleheader, with the first game starting just 18 1/2 hours after the end of this game.  The two games will be the only ones in the series.  Steve Carlton (13-11, 3.72) and Randy Lerch (7-11, 4.15) will start against Bert Blyleven (11-4, 3.54) and Jim Rooker (2-6, 4.80).