James McDonald Dazzles In First Start With Pirates

James McDonald, one of two players acquired from the Dodgers for Octavio Dotel, struck out eight Rockies in his first start for the Bucs.

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McDonald Brilliant Over Six Innings As Pirates Win 5-1

Sports Network | August 5, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – James McDonald twirled six shutout innings to help the Pittsburgh Pirates take a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a four-game set.

McDonald (1-1) gave up just four hits and a walk with a season-high eight strikeouts for his first win of the season for the Pirates, who had dropped six of seven coming into the game. Ronny Cedeno clubbed a two-run home run while Garret Jones added a solo shot in the win.

Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Jeff Francis (4-4) was touched for five runs on nine hits with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings for the Rockies, who had won five of six coming into the contest.

Jones led off the second inning by crushing a slider that was left over the plate for his 15th home run of the season. Lastings Milledge later singled and, after Chris Snyder struck out, Cedeno belted a pitch that just stayed fair in left for a 3-0 lead.

The Pirates made it a 4-0 game in the third as Andrew McCutchen led off with a double and later came home on a Neil Walker single.

McDonald, meanwhile, was having little trouble with the Colorado offense. Through the first six innings he retired the side three times and allowed just one runner to reach second base, Ian Stewart in the third inning.

Pittsburgh got another run in the sixth as Walker started the frame with a double and came home two batters later on Pedro Alvarez’s single to center.

Wilfredo Ledezma took over for McDonald in the seventh. He put men on first and second with two outs, but he got Stewart to ground out to end the threat.

Sean Gallagher came on for the eight, but gave up walks to Dexter Fowler and Clint Barmes. Justin Thomas entered the game and got Carlos Gonzalez to pop out to short for the second out of the inning, but Tulowitzki punched a single to left to score Fowler and make it a 5-1 game.

Chris Resop then set the Rockies down in order in the ninth to close out the win.

Pittsburgh has taken three of four from Colorado this season…Francis had gone his previous five starts without a loss, going 2-0 since a loss at San Diego on June 30. He fell to 3-3 over six starts against the Pirates in his career…McDonald improved to 3-1 in six appearances (three starts) against the Pirates…Jason Hammel takes the mound for Colorado on Friday and will be opposed by Zach Duke for Pittsburgh.

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Chris Resop Pitches Scoreless Ninth In Pirates Debut

Newly-acquired Chris Resop made his Pirates debut tonight in the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning, finishing the game for the Bucs, 5-1. Read more at Bucs Dugout.

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McDonald Strikes Out Eight In Six Shutout Innings

James McDonald, who was acquired this weekend with outfielder Andrew Lambo from the Dodgers for Octavio Dotel, was brilliant in his first Pirates start tonight, striking out eight and scattering four singles and a walk in six shutout innings.

This reminds me of Jeff Karstens, who got very good results in his first Pirate start also, but McDonald is plainly much better than Karstens – he has a good 93 MPH fastball, a hard breaking pitch, and a decent change. Tonight’s start was tremendously promising.

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James McDonald Makes Pirates Debut Tonight Against Rockies

Sports Network | August 5, 2010

 

(Sports Network) - Jeff Francis has company with regard to the Colorado Rockies' single-season wins record. He probably couldn't be happier.

One day after All-Star Ubaldo Jimenez tied a club record, Francis goes for a third straight winning decision this evening in the opener of a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Colorado had won four straight prior to a loss to the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a quick two-game set on Tuesday. However, behind seven strong innings from Jimenez and a pair of homers by Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies posted a 6-1 victory on Wednesday.

Gonzalez drove in three runs and had the first of back-to-back homers in the sixth inning, with Troy Tulowitzkifollowing with a blast of his own.

"You're very hopeful of the fact that this is a nice momentum builder heading into this road trip," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy of his club, which is beginning a seven-game swing tonight. "I've been saying for the last couple days that we need to get out from the start every game and play good baseball."

Jimenez improved to 17-2 after allowing just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts. He joins Francis, Kevin Ritz (1996) and Pedro Stacie (1999) as the only 17-game winners in team history.

Francis posted his 17-win campaign in 2007, but a left shoulder injury has limited him to just eight victories and 38 starts since. He missed all of 2009 due to the ailment and didn't make his debut this season until May 16

The left-hander, though, hasn't lost since June 30 and is 2-0 with a 2.00 earned run average in his last three starts. He beat the Cubs on Friday, allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings of a 17-2 triumph.

Francis, 29, is now 4-3 with a 4.44 ERA this year and is 3-2 with a 6.67 ERA in five career starts versus the Pirates.

He'll look to improve that mark tonight against a Pirates team that had lost five straight before Tuesday's win over the Reds. However, Pittsburgh failed to make it two wins in a row with yesterday's 9-4 setback to Cincinnati.

The Pirates got homers out of Andrew McCutchenJeff Clement and Pedro Alvarez, but starter Jeff Karstens allowed three runs over just five-plus innings before the bullpen surrendered another six runs.

"To summarize, I would say damage control," Karstens said. "I felt like every inning they were just putting pressure on me, putting pressure on me, getting guys on. Didn't have my best control."

After dealing away three relievers -- Octavio DotelD.J. Carrasco and Javier Lopez -- prior to last Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline, the Pirates added to their ranks on Wednesday by claiming both Chris Resop(Braves) and Chan Ho Park (Yankees) off waivers.

Dotel was dealt to the Dodgers, and one of the players acquired by the Pirates in that deal makes his debut tonight in James McDonald.

The 25-year-old was 6-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 12 starts at Triple-A Albuquerque this year and 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in four games, including one start, with the Dodgers. In 53 total games with Los Angeles, including five starts, McDonald went 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA.

"I've had my eye on this guy for a couple years now," manager John Russell told Pittsburgh's website. "He's a very talented pitcher. I was surprised when [general manager] Neal [Huntington] called and told us we got him. He's got the arm to be a very good starting pitcher. I'm very excited about it."

McDonald, a right-hander, is 2-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances lifetime versus the Rockies. He is taking the rotation spot of Daniel McCutchen, who was shifted to the bullpen.

Though the Pirates took two of three in Colorado from July 27-29, the Rockies have still won six of the last nine meetings overall.

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