On This Date in Sports July 4, 1976: Grand Slam Single on the Fourth

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It is a day of doubleheaders in baseball as America celebrates the Bicentennial. With celebrations throughout Philadelphia, where the Deceleration of Independence was signed, the Phillies across the state in Pittsburgh. In the first game of the doubleheader, the Phillies double up the Pirates 10-5. However, the game is best remembered for Tim McCarver losing a grand slam when he passes Garry Maddox on the basepath. 

The 1976 season was special for the Phillies, who were managed by Paul Owens and had the best record in baseball at 51-21. The Pirates, meanwhile, were second in the National League East at 42-31 for manager Danny Murtaugh. Steve Carlton made the start for Philadelphia, as he did in every Carlton start; Tim McCarver was behind the plate. Larry Dermey made the start for Pittsburgh. 

After a scoreless first inning, the Phillies began a rally with a leadoff triple by Greg Luzinski. Following a walk by Dick Allen, the Phillies took a 1-0 lead on a double by Jay Johnstone. Garry Maddox was intentionally walked to load the bases. Next up was the veteran Tim McCarver, who was in his 17th season in the majors. McCarver hits the ball over the rightfield fence, but Maddox thought the ball was caught and stayed at first. Tim McCarver passed Maddox, and the home run was canceled, with McCarver getting credited with a three-run single. 

The Phillies added two runs in the fifth, as the Pirates got back in the game with a four-run fifth as Bill Robinson and Tommy Helms each had home runs. The Phillies added two runs in the sixth and two runs in the eighth to win the game 10-5, as Manny Sanguillen drove in a run for Pittsburgh in the seventh. Ron Reed took over the rest of the way and earned a save as Carlton earned his eighth win of the season. The Pirates would rebound to win the nightcap 7-1.