- 1978 – Reliever Mike Gonzalez was born in Corpus Christi. He was drafted by the Pirates and pitched his first four seasons (2003-06) in Pittsburgh. Gonzo became a rare LH closer in 2006, earning 24 saves before being sent to Atlanta in the off season as part of the Adam LaRoche deal. He last pitched in the majors in 2013 for the Brewers.
- 1984 – Bucco lefty John Candelaria struck out 12 batters in eight innings of work as the Pirates beat Cincinnati, 7-2, at Three Rivers Stadium. It was Candelaria’s fourth win of the year. The Pirates took the lead with six runs in the fifth inning and never looked back. Catcher Tony Pena went 3-for-4 with a triple.
|John Smiley 1989 Panini|
- 1989 – John Smiley struck out nine batters and tossed a complete game in a 5-2 victory over Zane Smith and the Braves in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Glenn Wilson had two hits, including a two-run homer, to lead the attack. The win was Smiley’s fifth in a row en route to winning 12 games for the Bucs that year. The 24-year-old’s 1989 campaign would see him set personal full-time bests in ERA (2.81) and WHIP (1.086).
- 1998 – Jason Kendall had a big if somewhat painful day at Pro Players Stadium against Florida in Pittsburgh’s 10-4. He went 3-for-3 with three RBI. After his first inning single knocked in a run, he was rewarded with a pair of HBPs; he responded by doubling and singling to plate two more runs and touch the dish once with his following pair of swings. Turner Ward also drove in three runs and Tony Womack scored three times. Jon Lieber got the win and Ricardo Rincon the save.
- 1999 – Jason Schmidt left after two innings, with the Florida Marlins up 5-0 (he missed the next start with “dead arm”). But the Bucs came all the way back at Pro Player Stadium. They did it the hard way, too. They plated their runs on a sac fly, a grounder, an single/error followed by a rap, a wild pitch/missed catch, a double play and softly scored the winner in the ninth. Mike Benjamin singled off a glove, went to second on a balk, tagged to third and scored on Al Martin’s blooper that barely cleared short. They may have ground to score runs, but the victory was thanks to a great bullpen effort: Jeff Wallace got the win, the save went to Mike Williams and goose eggs were tossed by relievers Chris Peters and Brad Clontz.
- 2010 – Ryan Doumit had a day as the Bucs walked off with a 3-2, 10-inning win over Atlanta in front of 23,045 fans at PNC Park. The Pirates left the bases loaded in the seventh, failing to add to a 2-1 lead, before former Bucco Eric Hinske homered off Evan Meek to tie the game in the eighth. The game went on quietly when with two outs in the 10th, Dewey jumped on Takashi Saito’s first pitch and knocked it over the RF wall. The blast gave Octavio Dotel the win in a match started by Zach Duke. Doumit’s three hits led the parade; Aki Iwamura and Andrew McCutchen added a pair of knocks apiece.
|Dewey 2010 Topps Heritage|
- 2016 – In one of PNC Park’s scarier moments, witnessed by 34,529 stunned fans, Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was hit in the face with an 0-2 fastball by the Rockies Jordan Lyles in the second inning and was carted off the field with facial fractures. Ryan was temporarily blinded in one eye after the beaning, but his vision slowly recovered to nearly normal. He had surgery and against the odds returned to the mound on August 4th and pitched well (six innings, one run, three hits) in his return. The Bucs, btw, won the match against Colorado by a 6-3 score and Lyles was introduced to instant karma – he lost the game and then was sent to the minors the next day.
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