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Pirates Vs. Marlins: Pirates Swept, But Pedro Alvarez Has Big Game

The Florida Marlins completed a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday night, winning 9-5.

James McDonald continued to struggle for the Pirates, allowing eight runs in three innings, including a grand slam by Scott Cousins and a three-run homer by Brett Hayes. McDonald now has a 10.13 ERA on the season, including five home runs and 12 walks in 18.2 innings.

Chris Volstad picked up the win for the Marlins despite allowing five runs in 5.1 innings. In a bit of good news for the Bucs, Pedro Alvarez hit his first homer of the year (in the second inning) and went 3-for-4, including a double and single in addition to the homer. Alvarez’s funk has held the Pirates back so far, and if he can break out of it, they’ll be a much better team.

There’s still McDonald’s awful pitching to figure out, unfortunately. He was the Pirates’ best pitcher down the stretch last year, but in 2011 he has been horrible.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.