White Smoke poured from the chimney at the Sistine Chapel this afternoon. Apparently, word travels fast that James McDonald pitched into the sixth inning at McKechnie Field against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Unfortunately, the Bucs bats acted like they were in a rush to get in front of a television set to find out the real news about the white smoke. The Pirates offense has struggled for most of spring training as roster longshots got their turn, but today the lineup included most of the projected starters we forsee in the lineup on Opening Day.
They did little against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle. The Bucs managed just four hits with four groundouts and three flyouts adding up to just one run.
Starling Marte tripled (again!) and was plated by Andrew McCutchen for the lone Bucco run thus far.
The Jays jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off McDonald who went 5.1 innings. The Bucs big question mark allowed five hits and three runs while walking two and striking out five. Quite an outing for a pitcher many have doubts about in 2013, even if it was against the hangers on in Blue Jays camp.
McDonald exited the game in the sixth inning after striking out Melky Cabrera, JMac allowed a single to Adam Lind and was relieved by Mark Melancon.
The reliever who has looked anything but sharp, struckout Andy LaRoche. But he walked Mark Derosa and gave up a run-scoring single on a fly ball to right field by Mike Nickeas to stake the lead to 3-1 in favor of the Jays and set JMac’s final line. .
Melancon walked two, gave up two hits, and struckout two. Vin Mazarro relieved Melancon with the bases drunk and an Ivan De Jesus, Jr error on a Sean Ochinko groundball allowed Mike McCoy to score. McCoy had singled off Melancon and stole second base earlier in the seventh.
Vin Mazarro gave up a hit and struckout two in his 1.2 innings of work.
With the help of Felix Pie and Josh Harrison, the Bucs pulled out another dramatic victory in extra innings.
We can hear the fellas now….keep pumping that smoke, the Bucs can’t lose!!