The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their series against last-place Minnesota Twins on Thursday night with a comfortable 9-1 win. James McDonald was fabulous yet again for the Bucs, pitching his first career complete game. McDonald, who's had an incredible season striking out the opposition, went nine strong innings and threw 120 pitches. He allowed just one earned run on six hits and issued no walks.
The Bucs' offense gave McDonald an early cushion, jumping on Twins' starter Liam Hendriks. The big hit came in the second inning when Andrew McCutchen ripped a bases-clearing double to score three and make it 4-1. Three straight long balls closed out the scoring at 9-1. Rod Barajas smashed a two-run shot to left center in the bottom of the sixth and Garrett Jones followed that with a two-run blast of his own just one inning later. Later that inning, Pedro Alvarez finished things off with a solo homer to right to put Pittsburgh ahead by eight. It was an impressive night at the plate, as the Bucs did not draw a walk but jumped all over the Twins' offerings.
Pittsburgh now plays Detroit for the second time this season. This time the Tigers will visit PNC Park and Doug Fister will face A.J. Burnett in the series opener on Friday night.