July 3, 1979: Candelaria, Romo Shut Down Cards in 4-1 Win

John Candelaria and Enrique Romo held St. Louis to four hits and Dave Parker keyed the offense in a 4-1 Pirates win.  With the Expos losing, the Bucs moved to within five and a half games of first.

The Candy Man allowed just two hits over five innings and didn’t walk anybody.  He retired the first 13 batters he faced before Tony Scott homered in the bottom of the fifth, temporarily tying the game at 1-1.  Candelaria gave up a single two batters later, the only other baserunner he allowed.

Romo took over in the sixth and, if anything, was even better.  He threw four scoreless innings, also allowing two baserunners, both on singles.  Other than the longball, no Cards runner got past first all day.

The Pirates had gotten on the board first when the Cobra reached Bob Forsch with two out in the top of the third for his 14th home run.  The next half inning after Scott tied the game, Parker put the Pirates back on top, following a Tim Foli single with an RBI double.

The Pirates added insurance in the seventh.  Singles by Ed Ott, Phil Garner and, of all people, Romo added one run.  A second scored on a wild pitch, making it 4-1.

The win left Candelaria with a 7-6 record.  Romo got his second save.  Parker had three hits, Garner two.  Foli left the game after the top of the seventh with an injury that wasn’t thought to be significant.

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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.

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