Pitcher Rich Gale of the San Francisco Giants hit his first major league home run yesterday to beat the Cubs, 2-1, in Chicago.
The two-run homer in the second inning off Doug Bird (3-6) gave the Cubs their sixth straight defeat.
Gale, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound right-hander, hit a two-out, 1-2 pitch into a 12-mph wind. It cleared the left-center field wall and drove in Tom O'Malley, who had doubled.
"The last homer was in 1974 in the Cape Cod League," Gale said. "A three-run shot in the fourth inning off Jerry Unser. When you don't hit often, you remember them all."
Gale spent four seasons with the Kansas City Royals in the American League, where pitchers do not bat. He and pitcher Bill Laskey were traded to the Giants last Dec. 11 for outfielder Jerry Martin.
Manager Frank Robinson of the Giants was as surprised as anyone. "Hit with power?" he asked. "I didn't think he could hit the ball, period."
Gale gave up a run in the first inning and was working on a three-hitter when he ran into trouble in the seventh and eighth innings.
He gave up two singles in the seventh but solved the problem by picking Keith Moreland off first base.
Gale (2-4) allowed seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.