PITTSBURGH — Marvell Wynne led off Friday night's game with a double. Tony Gwynn followed with a drag bunt that moved Wynne to third. And Kevin McReynolds promptly drove in Wynne with a single.
Jack McKeon, the Padre general manager who has traveled here to see if his team's any good, threw a fist in the air and nearly dropped his cigar.
"That's the way!" he said. "That's what we wanted. No more selfish baseball. We'll move runners. We'll win now. That's the way!"
But the Pittsburgh Pirates moved runners a little differently--with 14 hits and four stolen bases--and McKeon couldn't bear to watch, leaving during the seventh inning of a 12-7 Padre loss.
Pitchers Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint, Gene Walter and Bob Stoddard were all basically miserable Friday night. Hawkins (6-7) started, lasted four innings, gave up five runs and said later: "I'm kind of lost. When you get in a rut like that, there's no easy solution."
LaPoint, who hadn't yielded a run in his first two Padre appearances, lasted one-third of an inning and gave up five runs and five hits, including a bases-loaded triple to U. L. Washington (four RBIs on the night). After LaPoint gave up his first run, Manager Steve Boros came out to talk to him. But Galen Cisco, the pitching coach, apparently hadn't noticed. Cisco went out to the mound on his own after Washington's triple--not intending to lift LaPoint--and umpire Gerry Davis said: "That's two visits. Who's your new pitcher?"
"My fault," he said, even though LaPoint looked ready to come out. His earned-run average as a Padre went from 0.00 to 8.44 in one night.
Walter's first pitch in relief was a wild one, nearly hitting Rick Reuschel in the ankle and bouncing to the backstop. Washington came in from third. It was 10-1, Pirates.
It got to be 12-3 when Pittsburgh got two more off Stoddard. Shortstop Washington finished with three hits to go with his four RBIs while third baseman Jim Morrison had three hits and three RBIs. The winner was Reuschel (5-11), who had suffered seven straight defeats coming in.
"Every time the (first-place) Giants win, we win," right fielder Tony Gwynn said. "Sooner or later, we've got to pick up ground."
Isn't it too early to be scoreboard watching?
"I am, I am," Gwynn said. "I called up Swannie (Padre publicist Mike Swanson) in the press box before the game and asked, 'What did the Giants do?' He told me (Scott) Sanderson pitched a one-hitter, and I announced it in the dugout to the guys. Then, we went out and got that run. Great! Then, look what happened."
So it was 12-3 entering the ninth. Shortstop Garry Templeton, first baseman Steve Garvey and catcher Terry Kennedy--all of whom started--were long gone by then, replaced by Jerry Royster, John Kruk and Bruce Bochy, respectively. Pirate Manager Jim Leyland--looking for a pitcher to start the ninth against a watered-down Padre team--turned to rookie Barry Jones, just called up from the Triple-A Hawaii team.
But Jones walked the leadoff man, pinch-hitter Carmelo Martinez. Tim Flannery and Jerry Royster singled, and a run was in. A little later, Gwynn hit his 10th homer of the year with two men on.
Leyland saw enough, gave the kid a little pep talk and brought in a real pitcher--big 6-foot 4-inch Don Robinson. Robinson gave up a single to Bip Roberts but finished the game. The last out was a slow grounder to the mound. Robinson fielded it, ran halfway to first base and tossed it underhand to first baseman Sid Bream. Fireworks went off here.
McKeon was back at the hotel.