September 20, 1979: Pirates Lose to Phillies, Drop Out of First

The Phillies’ Randy Lerch threw a complete game against the Pirates and they lost, 2-1.  Montreal meanwhile swept a doubleheader from the Mets for the second straight day.  The Expos now lead the Pirates by half a game in the NL East.

The Bucs got a good start from Jim Rooker, who was pitching for the first time in 11 days.  Rooker went six innings, giving up seven hits and just one run.  That came in the first, when two singles put runners at the corners and Greg Luzinski hit a sacrifice fly.

Rooker didn’t have any significant trouble after that until the sixth.  The Phillies got runners to the corners with one out, but Rooker escaped by fanning Keith Moreland and Lonnie Smith.

The Pirates did little with Lerch through the first four innings, getting just one runner to second.  In the top of the fifth, they tied the game on a bases-loaded walk to Tim Foli.  It followed singles by Bill Madlock, Phil Garner and Rooker.

Rooker left for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh and Kent Tekulve took over.  A single by Larry Bowa and a bunt by Lerch put a runner on second with two outs.  Teke walked Pete Rose to get to Manny Trillo, but Trillo singled to put the Phillies up, 2-1.

The Bucs had a chance in the top of the ninth.  Madlock led off with a double and, after a popup, went to third on a single by Steve Nicosia.  Manny Sanguillen batted for Teke, but he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Teke was tagged with the loss, dropping him to 10-8.  Madlock had three hits.

The Pirates head to Chicago for three games.  Don Robinson (8-6, 3.93 ERA), Bruce Kison (10-7, 3.46) and Jim Bibby (10-4, 3.16) will face Lynn McGlothen (11-13, 4.36), George Riley (0-0, 4.70) and Rick Reuschel (18-10, 3.27).