September 25, 1979: Pirates Hammer Expos, 10-4, to Take Over First Place

The Pirates pounded Montreal, 10-4, in the third game of their four-game series at TRS.  Willie Stargell led the way with a pair of bombs and Enrique Romo turned in a stellar relief performance.  The Bucs now have a half-game lead in the NL East.

It didn’t take long for the Pirates to get after Expos’ starter Scott Sanderson.  With two outs in the bottom of the first and Tim Foli on via a single, Pops blasted his 30th home run of the year to make it 2-0.

The Expos tied the game with single runs in the third and fourth off Pirates starter Jim Rooker.  Tony Perez got a run in with a sacrifice fly in the third, then Larry Parrish led off the fourth with a home run.

Stargell put the Bucs back on top in the bottom of the fourth with his second dinger of the day and 31st of the year.  They loaded the bases with one out later in the inning, but Rooker struck out and Omar Moreno grounded out.

The Expos tied the game again on a two-out, RBI single by Ellis Valentine in the top of the fifth.  That made it 3-3, but the Pirates took charge in the bottom of the inning.

With two out and nobody on, walks to Stargell and Bill Madlock, sandwiched around a John Milner single, loaded the bases.  Ed Ott knocked out Sanderson with a two-run single, then Phil Garner greeted reliever Bill Atkinson with another RBI single, to put the Bucs up, 6-3.

The Expos got one run back in the top of the sixth.  A leadoff single by Rodney Scott, followed by a steal, a wild pitch and a single by Duffy Dyer made it 6-4.  Romo relieved with nobody out and got out of the inning.

The Bucs put the game out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Moreno, Foli and Dave Parker all singled to start the inning, bringing in one run.  After an out, Milner reached on an error by the shortstop Scott, which let in another run to make the score 8-4.  Milner’s pinch runner, Alberto Lois, stole second, and a fly ball by Madlock and a single by Ott each drove in another run to put the Pirates up, 10-4.

Romo had little trouble over the final three innings, allowing just a harmless single.  Over his four innings, he fanned seven.  Rooker got the win to go 4-7.  Romo got his fifth save.  Stargell and Ott each drove in three.  The series concludes tomorrow.