October 16, 1979: Pirates Shut Out Orioles to Force Game Seven

The Pirates got outstanding performances from John Candelaria and Kent Tekulve to blank Baltimore, 4-0, in game six of the World Series.  The win brought them back from a three-games-to-one deficit, tying the Series at three games apiece and forcing a game seven.

Candelaria and Tekulve had rough outings in their last games, but not this time.  After allowing six runs over three-plus innings in game three, the Candy Man went six in this one, allowing six hits, all singles, and no walks.  Baltimore’s best chance against him came in the first, when their first and third hitters singled.  A 5-3 double play stopped that threat.  The Orioles got leadoff singles in the third, fourth and fifth, but never got a runner past second.

On their end, the Pirates had a big chance against Jim Palmer in the first.  Omar Moreno led off the game with a single and went to third when Tim Foli doubled.  Palmer got out of it, though, when Dave Parker grounded hard to third, Willie Stargell popped up and John Milner grounded out.

In the fourth, the Bucs loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit batsman, but Candelaria struck out.  That was their only other real chance until the top of the seventh.

The Pirates finally broke through in the seventh.  Lee Lacy, batting for Candelaria, struck out to start the inning, but Moreno and Foli both singled.  Parker drove Moreno in with a third single and Stargell hit a sacrifice fly to plate Foli.  That put the Bucs up, 2-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, Chuck Tanner went to his relief ace.  Earl Weaver had held back his left-handed hitters to face Teke in game four and the strategy paid off handsomely.  With the lefty Candelaria starting, Weaver had all his lefties ready on the bench again.  In this game, Teke got Al Bumbry for the second out of the seventh and gave up a harmless, two-out single to Billy Smith.

The Pirates got to Palmer for two more in the top of the eighth.  With one out, Ed Ott singled and Phil Garner doubled him to third.  Bill Robinson drove in Ott with a line out to left and Moreno singled Garner home.

Teke closed it out from there.  In the eighth, he retired three straight left-handed pinch hitters, John Lowenstein, Pat Kelly and Terry Crowley.  In the ninth, he retired the middle of the Baltimore order, fanning Ken Singleton and Doug DeCinces, and getting Eddie Murray on a fly ball in between.

Candelaria got the win and Tekulve a save.  The Pirates had ten hits, three by Foli.  Game Seven is tomorrow, with Jim Bibby starting against Scott MacGregor.