The Pirates took over first place by half a game with a 5-3 win over the Expos. They’ve taken the first three games of their four-game series in Montreal.
The offense didn’t waste any time against Montreal starter Dan Schatzeder. Omar Moreno started the game with a single and, after an out, Dave Parker launched his 17th home run of the season. In the second, Tim Foli made it 3-0 with a single that drove in Steve Nicosia.
Jim Bibby rolled through the early innings, retiring the first dozen batters he faced. The Expos got two singles to start the fifth, but Bibby got Ellis Valentine to hit into a double play and, after a walk, fanned Rusty Staub to end the inning.
The Pirates had added to their lead in the top of the inning. Bill Madlock hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Parker, who’d reached on an error. They made it 5-0 in the top of the sixth when Nicosia singled, moved up on a sacrifice by Bibby, and scored on a hit by Moreno.
The Expos finally made some headway against Bibby after that. A two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the sixth by Andre Dawson broke up the shutout. In the seventh, Larry Parrish knocked out Bibby with a one-out, two-run home run, making it 5-3. Bibby finished with three runs allowed on five hits and two walks in six and a third innings. He fanned six.
Grant Jackson finished the seventh and then Chuck Tanner went to Kent Tekulve. Teke closed it out. The only runners against him reached on an error in the eighth and a two-out single in the ninth. The win improved Bibby’s record to 7-2. Tekulve picked up his 17th save. The Cubs lost, so the Bucs now stand a game ahead of them and half a game ahead of Montreal.
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.