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April 21, 1979: Dejá Vu as Pirates Lose 5-4 in Ten Again


For the second straight day, the Pirates lost to the Astros, 5-4, in ten innings, on an unearned run following an error by Dale Berra.  The loss stretched their losing streak to five.

Bert Blyleven had another rough start, giving up four runs and ten hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Houston reached him for two in the first on three straight two-out hits.  They made it 3-0 in the second on a two-out RBI triple by Craig Reynolds.

The Pirates tied it in the fourth against Ken Forsch, but could have had more.  Phil Garner doubled and Dave Parker singled him to third, but the Cobra was thrown out trying to reach second.  Willie Stargell singled in Garner and came home on John Milner’s third home run.  They took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Pops launched his third off Forsch.

Blyleven had left the bases loaded in the third and picked Jose Cruz off third following a leadoff triple in the fifth.  In the sixth, though, he gave up three straight two-out singles to tie the game.  A walk to load the bases brought on Grant Jackson, who got out of the inning.

Jackson and Kent Tekulve combined to keep Houston off the board in the seventh, eighth and ninth.  The Pirates, meanwhile, were unable to score through the tenth.  In the bottom half, a single and an error by Berra put two on to start the inning.  Teke got the next two batters, but a two-out single by Cruz ended the game.  The loss dropped Teke’s record to 0-3.  Parker, Stargell and Milner each had two hits.

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Wilbur Miller
Wilbur Miller
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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