Game 29 Recap: Early Runs Aid McDonald’s Strong Effort

A first inning tater from Jones set the tone.

The Cincinnati Reds have been plagued by giving up first inning runs. Tonight their former ace, Aaron Harang now pitching for San Diego, was troubled by the same problem. Harang gave up a pair of two run bombs in the first inning as the Padres fell into an early hole from which they couldn’t escape.

The two worst offenses in the National League did battle. With those early runs, the Pirates got all the scoring they would need. James McDonald was solid in holding the anemic Friars at bay.

Xavier Paul singled with one out in the first off Harang. Jones followed him with a drive over the fence in right. Neil Walker singled. With two outs Chris Snyder homered to left. Just like that, it was 4-0 Bucs. Harang would give up just one more hit in the next four innings, exiting for a pinch hitter after tossing five frames.

The Padres advanced just one runner past second base against McDonald throught the first five innings. But with two outs in the sixth, Jorge Cantu homered to make it 4-2. That wasn’t all San Diego would get. After Jose Veras tossed a scoreless seventh inning, Chris Resop ran into trouble in the eighth. Will Venable singled and stole second. He scored on a two out single from Jason Bartlett, narrowing the lead to a single run.

McDonald gave up both runs on five hits in six innings. He walked just one and struck out six. Harang was tagged with the loss. He allowed all four runs in five innings. Joel Hanrahan wrapped up the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Good
Continuing to win on the road.

A pair of dingers.

Paul had two of the six hits.

The Bad
Nothing of any consequence.

The Rest
The Padres have lost all four games in which they have given up more than one home run.

How do you know the Padres are scratching for runs? None of their one through four hitters came into the game with a batting average above .230.

Cantu came into the game hitting .345 in his career against Pittsburgh. He didn’t face the Pirates in 2010.

Harang made a living off the Pirates in the past. He came into the game with a 13-5 career mark in spite of a pedestrian 4.08 career ERA in 22 starts.

Ryan Doumit has eight hits (including two dingers) in 26 at bats off Harang. Snyder was 4-10. Looks like Clint Hurdle couldn’t have missed on this one based on the small sample size.

The Pirates drew four walks in the ninth but didn’t score as Lyle Overbay, who drew the first walk, was caught stealing before the second walk was issued.

San Diego donned the camo unis.

Author: Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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