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July 11, 1979: Kison Goes the Distance in 5-1 Win Over Astros


Bruce Kison allowed just six hits and no walks in a complete game, 5-1 win over Houston.  The win was the Pirates’ third straight.

For a while, it looked like Kison could be on the losing end.  Houston’s J.R. Richard shut the Pirates out through the first six innings, allowing just three hits.

Kison got himself out of a second-inning jam, picking Jose Cruz off third with one out.  Cruz had led off with a double and advanced on a grounder.

The Astros scratched out a run in the fourth.  A hit batsman and a ground out put Craig Reynolds on second with two outs and Enos Cabell singled him in.

The Pirates broke through loudly against Richard in the top of the seventh.  Dave Parker and Willie Stargell led off the inning with back-to-back home runs, number 16 for each.  John Milner followed with a triple and scored on a Bill Madlock single.  Madlock moved to third on a single and an error, and came in on a grounder by Rennie Stennett.  That made the score 4-1.

Kison dominated after that, allowing just one more baserunner through the last three innings.  The Bucs added a run in the eight off Richard on an RBI single by Milner, accounting for the 5-1 final.

The win pushed Kison to 5-4.  An Expos’ loss leaves the Bucs five and a half games out of first, in a virtual third-place tie with the Phillies.

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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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