Game 43 Recap: McDonald Earns Win in Bucs Sweep

McDonald evened his record at 3-3.

James McDonald chucked it well. The Pirates beat Johnny Cueto for a change. It added up to a two game sweep in Cincinnati.

The Reds drew first blood. In the second inning the Pirates loaded the bases but were unable to cash in against Cueto. Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the second with a homer to give the Reds an early lead. They wouldn’t hold onto it. Pittsburgh put together a two out rally in the fifth to take the lead for good. Andrew McCutchen doubled with two out. Xavier Paul’s single tied the score. After a walk to Garrett Jones, Neil Walker doubled to drive home both runners.

Jordan Smith relieved Cueto to start the sixth inning and Ryan Doumit hit a lead off homer to make it 4-1. Nick Masset was on in the eighth and he surrendered an RBI double to McCutchen, pushing the Pirates lead to four runs. But the Bucco bullpen was leaky. Chris Heisey drew a one out walk in the home half of the eighth. He moved up on a passed ball from Doumit. Joey Votto (I hear he is pretty good) singled him home to make it 5-2. Joel Hanrahan yielded the second homer of the afternoon by Jay Bruce in the ninth to make it 5-3. But that was all the Reds could get.

McDonald moves to 3-3 with 6-2/3 innings of work. He gave up one run on seven hits and one walk. He struck out four. Cueto gave up five hits and three walks in five innings. He was charged with three runs. Hanrahan’s effort in the ninth got him a save.

The Good
Another road win and a sweep.

Nice outing from McDonald.

Bucs erased three Reds baserunners with two outfield assists and a caught stealing

McCutchen, Walker and Doumit each had two hits.

The Bad
The bullpen gave up two runs in 2-1/3 innings.

Bucs struck out ten times.

The Rest
Cueto falls to 9-3 in his career against Pittsburgh. The Pirates had not beaten him since the fourth game of the 2009 season. The Pirates were only hitting .218 against him coming into the game. But Andrew McCutchen entered with three career dingers against Cueto.

McDonald is now 2-1 against the Reds.

Bucs surrendered just two walks for the second straight game. This was only the 15th time in 2011 they yielded two or fewer walks.

Bucs are 20-23 after 43 games. They were 18-25 last year and 19-24 in 2009.

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shouldn’t it be McDonald is 2-1 against the Reds?

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