Bill Madlock had two hits in his debut as the Pirates’ new third baseman as they beat St. Louis, 5-4. The bullpen combined for three and two-thirds innings after the Bucs lost a 4-0 lead.
The Pirates jumped on Cards’ starter Silvio Martinez for two runs in the top of the first. Omar Moreno started the game with a single and stole his 33rd base. Moreno scored on a single by Dave Parker, who stole second and scored on a two-out hit by Bill Robinson. Madlock followed with a hit in his first at-bat for the Bucs, but Ed Ott fanned to end the inning.
The Pirates made it 3-0 in the third when Tim Foli doubled, moved up on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Willie Stargell. A fourth run scored in the fourth when Madlock and Ott singled, and Madlock scored on a grounder by Don Robinson.
Meanwhile, Robinson was setting the Cards down with little trouble. Two singles and a walk were the only runners he allowed through five innings.
Things changed in the sixth. Robinson allowed three singles and a double to start the inning, making the score 4-2. He fanned Keith Hernandez for the first out, but George Hendrick singled to tie the game. Another hit finished Robinson, but Enrique Romo got a double play to end the inning.
The Pirates took the lead back in the top of the seventh. Moreno doubled and Foli singled to drive him in.
Against a lefty-heavy St. Louis lineup, Chuck Tanner then went with Dave Roberts for his second Pirate game. Roberts managed to pitch through trouble in both the seventh and eighth. He got Lou Brock to hit into a double play with two on to end the seventh. In the eighth, Roberts gave up a walk and a single with two out, but got pinch hitter Steve Swisher on a popup.
Tanner went to another lefty, Grant Jackson, in the ninth. Jackson walked the first batter he faced but retired the next three to pick up his ninth save. Romo got the win to go 4-3. The Pirates had a dozen hits, with Moreno, Foli, Parker, Madlock and Ott each getting two.
The win moved the Pirates into a tie for second with the Cubs. They remain six and a half in back of Montreal.+ posts
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.