Pittsburgh Pirates starter James McDonald pitched with a gigantic chip on his shoulder Saturday afternoon. McDonald went seven innings. McDonald walked nobody. McDonald struck out ten.
The Bucs right hander was just one whiff short of tying his career high in strikeouts.
He did it at the plate, too. He drew a walk to leadoff the third inning, and scored on a Neil Walker double. A 27 minute rain delay gave the Bucco ace a break, and he came back out just as strong the rest of the way.
Michael McKenry hit his seventh homer in the fourth. Pedro Alvarez got in on the fun with a 325 foot double off the very tip top of the left field fence to plate Andrew McCutchen for the Pirates third and final run.
The Pirates pitching staff did the rest. Jason Grilli was gross, just gross. He fanned the side in the eighth, pumping his strikeout number up to 52 on the year.
Joel Hanrahan closed it out for his 23rd save, getting some excellent glove work from ‘Always Smooth’ Clint Barmes.
King James smiled as the Jolly Roger was raised. It certainly looks like he is getting the last laugh on being snubbed for the All-Star Game.