After a quiet start, the Pirates loaded the sacks in the second. Dewey walked with an out and Ryan Ludwick singled him to second. After a Josh Harrison force and steal of second, Ronnie Cedeno walked on a 3-2 pitch. J-Mac struck out swinging after four pitches, and that ended that.
The Fish threatened in the fourth on the strength of a walk, hit batter and passed ball, but McDonald worked out of it. But he didn't have an answer in the fifth.
After a lead off walk, the next pair of Marlins were retired. But the third out would remain elusive. A double, single, walk and double, all with two outs, would make it 4-0, and that was the game. J-Mac went 4-2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with four walks, a hit batter and three Ks.
In the seventh, Harrison singled with an out, went to second on a grounder and came in on Jason Jaramillo's knock up the middle. That ended the day's excitement.
The Bucs collected six hits; that gives them seven in the last two games as Javier Vazquez shut them down today. The starting pitching hasn't been great, but with the ways the bats are going, anything short of a goose egg is asking for trouble.
The Cards come to town tomorrow. Kyle Lohse faces Brad Lincoln.
- Dewey left the game in the fourth inning. He set up outside, the pitch came inside, and he whiffed on it, catching it off the chest protector and watching it bounce halfway to the hill. J-Mac said he missed the sign; Doumit was expecting a curve away and got a heater in. The result was a chest contusion.
- Today was the seventh time this season that James McDonald has been unable to finish five innings. The third time around the lineup seems to be Achille's Heel. Whether that's a conditioning (mental and physical) or strategic problem, it's holding J-Mac back from becoming a pitcher a team can rely on. Maybe that's why LA had him in the pen.
- The Pirates, in a widely expected move, extended the contract of GM Neal Huntington through 2014 with a club option for 2015. Love 'em or hate 'em, he'll be around for awhile. And at least this time they announced it; maybe the FO is growing up a little.