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June 4, 1979: Sutcliffe, Dodgers Top Pirates, 4-2


Dodgers’ starter Rick Sutcliffe allowed only four hits in a complete game, 4-2 win over the Pirates.  Jim Rooker suffered his first loss of the year after three strong outings since returning from the disabled list.

LA got three runs early against Rooker.  Joe Ferguson homered in the second after a two-out walk to Dusty Baker.  The Dodgers went up, 3-0, in the third when Steve Garvey doubled with two out and two on.  A relay from left fielder Bill Robinson to Rennie Stennett to catcher Ed Ott caught Reggie Smith at the plate, limiting the damage.

The Pirates didn’t get a hit off Sutcliffe until Tim Foli led off the fourth with a single.  Dave Parker followed with an inside-the-park home run to center field.  It was the Cobra’s tenth homer on the season.  Willie Stargell followed with a double, but was stranded.

The three straight hits in the fourth were all the Pirates managed except for a two-out single by Phil Garner in the seventh.  The only time they had two runners on base came in the sixth, when Foli and Parker led off with walks.  A fly out and double play ended that threat.

Rooker gave up a fourth run on an RBI double by Bill Russell in the fifth.  The lefty departed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning, having allowed seven hits and three walks.  Enrique Romo and Kent Tekulve each threw two scoreless innings to finish the game out.

The loss dropped Rooker to 2-1.  The Pirates remain in fourth place, now five games in back of the Expos, who beat Atlanta.

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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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