Brian Harper hit a two-run pinch single in the sixth as host Pittsburgh rallied from a three-run deficit with the help of an interference call that stripped St. Louis of a run.

With the Pirates leading, 5-3, in the sixth, George Hendrick walked and scored when Andy Van Slyke doubled to right. Van Slyke took third on Dave Parker's throw to the plate and then apparently scored when catcher Tony Pena's attempted pickoff throw got by third baseman Jim Morrison. But Van Slyke was touched by the third base coach, Chuck Hiller, before he scored, and third base umpire Randy Marsh called him out for interference. Under baseball rule 7:09i a base coach cannot touch or physically assist a runner under the penalty of an out call.

Van Slyke, who had three hits, joined with a heated protest by Manager Whitey Herzog and Hiller that lasted for 10 minutes before play resumed. Television replays showed Hiller touching Van Slyke, though not noticeably pushing him toward the plate.

"Basically, it's a common sense rule, and there was no common sense involved," said Herzog, still visibly angry after the game. "I've never seen it called, and I coached third base for a few years. I touched runners. In a game like this, he (Marsh) comes up with that call. He just overreacted, I guess."