The Pirates continue their series against the Cincinnati Reds Saturday night at 7:05 when James McDonald and the Bucs host Mike Leake.
The Pirates are coming off a 6-1 drubbing on Friday night in which Johnny Cueto pitched a complete game.
McDonald, though, gives the Pirates a shot to bounce back if he can continue his strong pitching. In his last start, he had 10 strikeouts through 7.2 innings against the Braves; before that, he struck out eight Rockies in seven innings.
Leake’s recent starts, meanwhile, have been less successful — he hasn’t had a quality start since April 10 against St. Louis, and he’s struck out just nine batters in 21.2 innings so far. The Pirates are still last in the majors in runs scored (with 75, behind the Athletics’ 84), but they’ve hit much better recently, and they have a chance to continue to do so against Leake.