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Pirates Vs. Reds: Pittsburgh Back To .500 Behind Another Strong Outing From James McDonald

The Pittsburgh Pirates are at .500 and suddenly three games back from the lead in the National League Central. The Pirates beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Monday by a final score of 4-1.

Starter James McDonald continued his ace pitching this season. He went eight innings, striking out five, walking one and giving up just five hits for his fourth win of the season. This win is his fourth in his last six starts. His ERA dropped to 2.20 and his WHIP to 0.96 with the performance.

Pittsburgh's hitters did their damage early. Pedro Alvarez drove in Neil Walker in the first inning with a double, and Garrett Jones sent him home with a single. Walked and Rod Barajas added runs in the next two innings, helping to chase Bronson Arroyo after just four innings of work.

Joel Hanrahan picked up his 12th save of the season, retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth.

Pittsburgh goes again tomorrow behind Charlie Morton.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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