September 9, 1979: Pirates Rally Late to Beat Mets, 6-5

The Pirates scored five runs in the last three innings to overcome a three-run deficit and beat the Mets, 6-5.  The win gave them the rubber match of their three-game series in New York.

After playing 29 innings on the previous two days, the Pirates needed a good start from Bruce Kison.  Early on, it didn’t look like that was going to happen.

The Mets jumped on Kison for three in the first.  With one out, he gave up a double and a walk, followed by an RBI double by Richie Hebner and a two-run single by Joel Youngblood.  After John Milner got the Pirates on the board by leading off the top of the second with his 16th home run of the year, the Mets came back with another run in the bottom half.  It came when Frank Taveras doubled with two out and scored on a single by John Stearns.

Kison settled in after that and gave the Pirates six innings.  He was helped by a caught stealing and a double play.  He ended up allowing the four runs on eight hits.

The Pirates started a comeback in the top of the seventh.  Ed Ott singled and Phil Garner walked to start the inning.  Mike Easler came up to hit for Kison, but Chuck Tanner switched to Lee Lacy when the Mets brought in lefty Andy Hassler.  Lacy came through with a single to score Ott, but Garner was thrown out at third on the play.  Omar Moreno then walked, but Tim Foli hit into a double play.

With Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo both having been appeared in the previous four (!) games, Tanner brought Jim Rooker in for the second straight game.  Rooker threw a scoreless seventh, then in the top of the eighth the Pirates took the lead.

The Pirates got three runs after two were out.  Dave Parker led off with a double, but the next two batters were retired.  Bill Madlock singled to drive in Parker and stole second.  After Ott walked, Frank Taveras booted Garner’s grounder, letting two runs score.  Bill Robinson batted for Rooker and singled to drive in Ott’s pinch runner, Alberto Lois.  That put the Pirates up, 5-4.

With Rooker gone, Tanner brought in Kent Tekulve, who’d pitched in the previous two games.  Teke gave up a leadoff single to Youngblood, then made a bad pickoff throw to put Youngblood on second.  Ron Hodges singled to drive in the run, which was scored as unearned, and tie the game.

The Pirates quickly took the lead back in the top of the ninth.  With one out, Parker tripled and Willie Stargell doubled to drive him in.  Teke got two strikeouts and a ground out in the bottom half to close it out.

Teke got credit for the win to go 9-7.  Madlock had three hits and two steals.  Moreno had two hits and two steals, giving him 67 steals on the season.  Montreal won, staying a game back of the Bucs.