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With rotation spot on the line, James McDonald beats Cardinals

Aug 17, 2012, 11:18 PM EDT

James McDonald AP

James McDonald entered Friday’s outing needing some sort of turnaround to save his rotation spot after a disastrous six-start run. He did that and more, shutting out the Cardinals for six innings and striking out seven in the Pirates’ 2-1 victory.

McDonald, an All-Star snub after going 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in the first half, entered Friday’s game with a 1-2 record, an 8.71 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP in six starts since the All-Star break. Last time out, he gave up seven runs to a Padres offense that ranks among the game’s worst.

McDonald had no such problems with the Cardinals, though, allowing just two hits in his six innings. He had thrown just 87 pitches when he was removed, but his spot was due up in the bottom of the sixth and the Pirates definitely wanted to end his night on a high note after his recent struggles.

The Pirates won the game without ever driving in a run. Both of their runs scored in the fourth, the first on a wild pitch from Jake Westbrook and the second on a passed ball.

With the victory, the Pirates moved to 66-53, putting them two games ahead of the Cardinals for second place in the NL Central. If the postseason started today, they’d be the second wild card.

  1. footballfan01 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    I concur wholeheartedly

  2. okwhitefalcon - Aug 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    The Cards made it easy on MacDonald from the get-go…

    “Batting 6th and starting at 2nd base for the St Louis Cardinals – Daniel Descalso.”

    Yep, Daniel Descalso.

    With Molina out, why not go with a little more O in the starting lineup?

    Per Derrick Goold:
    Daniel Descalso is batting .102 RISP (6-for-59) this season. Skip Schumaker is batting .390 RISP. (16-for-41)

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