October 12, 1979: Candelaria Roughed Up as Pirates Drop Game Three

With the World Series tied at a game apiece, the Pirates turned to lefty John Candelaria.  The Candy Man didn’t have it, though, and the Bucs lost an early lead and then the game.  The Orioles’ 8-4 win gave them a 2-1 lead.

Things started well for the Bucs.  Candelaria pitched out of a first-and-third, nobody-out situation in the top of the first, striking out Ken Singleton and Doug DeCinces, with an Eddie Murray line out in between.

The Pirates took the lead in the bottom half when Omar Moreno doubled, went to third on a balk and scored on a fly ball by Dave Parker.  They made it 3-0 in the second when Willie Stargell and Steve Nicosia, both of whom had singled, scored on a Phil Garner double.  Garner was caught trying to go to third, which proved costly when Candelaria singled.

The Orioles cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third on a two-run home run by Benny Ayala.  Earl Weaver had inserted Ayala into the lineup as part of a strategy to leave Candelaria facing all right-handed hitters.  The inning could have been worse, but Bill Robinson threw Ken Singleton out at the plate for the third out.

What followed after the top of the third was a rain delay of more than an hour.  Both starters, Candelaria and the Orioles’ Scott MacGregor, came back out, but their fortunes turned around.

After MacGregor set the Pirates down in the bottom of the third, the O’s jumped on Candelaria.  The first two batters got hits and an error by shortstop Tim Foli loaded the bases.  A triple by Foli’s counterpart, Kiko Garcia, who was making his first start of the series, unloaded them and finished the Pirates’ starter.  It didn’t finish the scoring, though, as Enrique Romo hit the first batter he faced and gave up an RBI single to Singleton.  A sacrifice fly brought in a fifth run, giving Baltimore a 7-3 lead.

Romo got through two more innings without any more damage, although he had to leave the bases loaded in the fifth.  The Pirates made it 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth when Stargell doubled and scored on a single by Bill Madlock.  The Orioles got that back in the top of the seventh when Romo, still in the game, gave up a double to Rick Dempsey and an RBI single to Garcia.  That left Garcia 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and Baltimore with an 8-4 lead.

Kent Tekulve threw a scoreless eighth and ninth, but the Pirates weren’t able to do any more damage against MacGregor.  He retired the last 11 batters he faced, giving the Orioles their second complete-game win of the series.

The teams play again tomorrow, with the Orioles’ Dennis Martinez facing the Pirates’ Jim Bibby.