GIANTS 9, PIRATES 1
Friday, July 21, 1978 at Candlestick Park
Game 1248 – 9/14/12

San Francisco starter Bob Knepper  (11-6) allowed one run on six hits over nine innings, and leadoff hitter Bill Madlock went 5-for-5 with a home run and a double, to lead the resurgent Giants over the Pirates 9-1 at Candlestick Park.

While the Bucs struggled to put runners on base, the Giants went hit-crazy on three Pittsburgh pitchers, connecting for 17 safeties overall and putting the game away early: in the first inning, Madlock drilled the first pitch of the game from Jim Rooker (9-8) well over the chain link fence in left-center field, good for Madlock’s 18th HR of the season and a 1-0 lead, while in the second inning, Madlock’s RBI single scored Johnnie LeMaster from second for a quick 2-0 Giants advantage.

The game would remain scoreless from that point until the seventh, when Rooker’s magic finally failed him; after working himself out of jams in four of his six innings pitched, he allowed the first three batters of the San Francisco seventh to reach base, and gave way to Jim Bibby with the Giants now on top 3-0. Bibby would surrender three more hits and three more runs, and by the end of the inning Bibby was gone, and the Giants were holding a commanding 6-0 lead.

The Pirates got to Knepper in the eighth when Bill Robinson led off the frame with a double to the gap in right, which Jack Clark misplayed, allowing Robinson to advance to third; Manny Sanguillen, playing first base tonight in place of Willie Stargell, then rapped a solid single between third and short to send Robinson home with Pittsburgh’s lone run of the evening.

But the Giants were far from done, connecting for four hits and three more runs off Jerry Reuss in the eighth, with Clark’s double good for one RBI and Terry Whitfield’s long single accounting for two more. Madlock’s single to lead off the frame was his fifth hit of the night, and improved his season average to .317.

The two teams will continue their three-game weekend set at Candlestick Park tomorrow.

Game Notes

• The game was played at night at site AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to Eye In The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project.

• The loss was the second in a row and 50th of the season for the Pirates.

• The Giants have now won 11 of 12 and are just 1½ games out of first place in the NL West.

• It was ‘Home Federal Savings Player Portrait Night’ at Candlestick Park, and since I didn’t have an example of the promotional pictures given away at the gates, the shot above is the only good Giants photo from 1978 I could find online: Willie McCovey and Jack Clark from a July 25th game against the Braves.

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