The Pirates saw their six-game winning streak come to an end in Montreal. The Expos’ 6-3 win also dropped the Pirates a game under .500.
Ed Whitson had a rough start, although the defense didn’t help. In the first, a two-out error by third baseman Phil Garner on a Tony Perez grounder let Rodney Scott score. In the third, an error by Lee Lacy, subbing for Rennie Stennett at second, helped load the bases with nobody out. Whitson got one out on a shallow fly, but Perez doubled in a pair and Ellis Valentine singled in another run. A walk that loaded the bases back up ended Whitson’s start. Bruce Kison gave up a sacrifice fly that made it 5-0 Expos. Whitson was charged with five runs, two earned, in his two and a third innings.
The Pirates meanwhile weren’t getting much done against Ross Grimsley. They had four singles, along with a double by Lacy, through five innings, but never got anybody past second. They finally got on the board in the top of the sixth when Dave Parker doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder.
Some bad defense by the Expos made it 5-3 in the top of the seventh. Steve Nicosia doubled with one out. Nicosia scored when Grimsley threw away Dale Berra’s grounder, then Berra also came around on an error by right fielder Valentine. The Pirates could have had more. Grimsley’s night ended when he walked pinch hitter Mike Easler after the double error. Former Pirate Woody Fryman gave up a single to Omar Moreno, but Easler got caught trying to steal third and Tim Foli flied out.
The Pirates couldn’t manage any more after the seventh. Fryman set down the side in the eighth. Montreal made it 6-3 in the bottom half of the inning when Enrique Romo allowed a run on a walk, a balk, a wild pitch and a single. Fryman gave up a walk in the ninth but got a double play to end the game.
With the loss, Whitson dropped to 1-3. Kison ended up going three and two-thirds, allowing just one hit and no runs. Moreno and Lacy each had two hits.