October 11, 1979: Clutch Hit by Sanguillen Evens World Series for Pirates

The Pirates and Orioles battled evenly on another wet night in Baltimore.  Good starts by Bert Blyleven and Jim Palmer led to a 2-2 tie in the ninth, but a clutch pinch-hit by Manny Sanguillen gave the Bucs a 3-2 win and evened the Series at a game apiece.

After a scoreless first, the scoring got started in the second.  Palmer, pitching in his fifth World Series, gave up leadoff singles to Willie Stargell and John Milner.  Stargell scored on a single by Bill Madlock and a fly ball by Ed Ott brought in Milner to put the Pirates up, 2-0.

Baltimore got one run back quickly when Eddie Murray led off the bottom of the second with a home run off Blyleven.  The Orioles eventually got runners to the corners, but Blyleven fanned Palmer to end the inning.

Both pitchers settled in after that.  From the third through the fifth, there were only three hits, all singles.  Two were wiped out by double plays, one by each team.

The Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.  Ken Singleton led off with a single and Murray doubled to drive him in, making it 2-2.  Murray went to third on a ground out.  John Lowenstein then lined to Dave Parker in right and Murray tagged up.  Parker threw a laser to Ott at the plate to get the runner, keeping the game tied.

Blyleven left for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh and the Pirates ultimately left the bases loaded when Omar Moreno fanned.  In the bottom half, Pirates’ reliever Don Robinson issued a pair of one-out walks, the second one to Pat Kelly, who was hitting for Palmer.  Robinson fanned Al Bumbry, then walked Terry Crowley, who was pinch hitting for shortstop Mark Belanger, loading the bases.  Robinson got out of it, though, by striking out Singleton.

Robinson had to get out of trouble again in the bottom of the eighth when a single and an error by Tim Foli put two on with nobody out.  John Lowenstein then grounded to Foli at short.  Foli missed an attempt to tag the runner headed to third, but threw to Phil Garner at second for a force play.  Garner caught Murray rounding the bag at third and the Pirates ran him down for their third double play of the game.  Robinson got the next hitter to end the inning.

The top of the ninth was another odd inning, but it worked out for the Pirates.  Bill Robinson led off with a single, but pinch runner Matt Alexander was caught stealing.  After a second out, Ott singled and moved up on a walk to Garner.  The 35-year-old Sanguillen came up to bat for Robinson and singled to right.  Ott just beat the throw home to put the Pirates up, 3-2.

Tanner went with Kent Tekulve in the ninth and there was no more drama.  Two strikeouts and a ground out ended the game.  The Pirates got 11 hits from ten different players, with only Madlock getting two.  Tomorrow the Series moves to Pittsburgh, with Scott MacGregor facing John Candelaria.