September 18, 1979: Willie Stargell Bombs Expos in 11th

A two-run home run by Willie Stargell in the 11th inning gave the Pirates a 5-3 win over the Expos.  The Bucs took both games in their two-game series in Montreal.  They now lead by two games in the NL East.

The Pirates got a quick, 3-0 lead against Spaceman Bill Lee.  Omar Moreno and Tim Foli started the game with singles.  After Dave Parker hit into a force play at second, Bill Robinson singled to drive in Foli.  The Cobra scored, too, and Robinson took second on an error by center fielder Andre Dawson.  Robinson stole third and held there when Pops reached on an error.  An infield hit by Bill Madlock brought in Robinson.

But that was all the Bucs could do in regulation.  Lee held them scoreless from the second through the seventh, allowing only one runner past first.  Woody Fryman then put up zeroes in the eighth and ninth.

The Expos meanwhile closed to within one run in the bottom of the third.  Bruce Kison gave up doubles to Rodney Scott and Lee to start the inning, with Lee taking third on an error by Parker.  A fly ball by Warren Cromartie brought in Lee.

Kison threw scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, although he had to work out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the fifth.  Chuck Tanner went with Enrique Romo in the sixth.  A leadoff hit and a bunt put a runner on second, and Larry Parrish tied the game, 3-3, with a two-out single.

The Bucs got a scoreless seventh from Romo and a scoreless eighth from Kent Tekulve.  There was a bit of drama in the ninth, as the Expos got runners to first and second against Teke with two out.  Tanner went with Grant Jackson to face the left-handed Cromartie, and Jackson got him on a fly ball.

Nobody reached base in the tenth against Dale Murray and Jackson.  In the eleventh, Mike Easler, batting for Jackson, led off with a single.  Pops then blasted his 29th home run of the year to center, putting the Pirates up, 5-3.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Tanner went with Dave Roberts, who’s been very solid down the stretch.  Roberts put the Expos down in order to pick up his fourth save.  Jackson got the win to move to 8-4.  Madlock had three hits in the game.

The Pirates move on to Philadelphia for three games.  They play a doubleheader tomorrow, with Bert Blyleven (11-5, 3.51 ERA) and Jim Bibby (10-4, 2.91) facing Nino Espinosa (14-11, 3.63) and Dan Larson (1-0, 1.29).  The next day, the Pirates will send Jim Rooker (3-7, 4.66) against Randy Lerch (9-12, 3.95).