McDonald lasted just three innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while throwing 76 pitches, his second straight short outing. He had some command issues, often falling behind hitters, but the long ball eventually did him in. James Loney smacked a three run shot off him and Juan Rivera added a two run homer. It looks like the dead-arm period has gotten to all the Bucs original rotation members, with the possible exception of Charlie Morton, and he's been up-and-down.
The Pirates had a couple of scoring chances, but left the bases juiced with one out in the eighth and second and third with one away in the second to come up empty. The Bucco run came in the second when Josh Harrison doubled home Derrek Lee.
Big Blue's Ted Lilly joined Mark Buerhle and CC Sabbathia as the only active pitchers to notch 10 wins for nine straight seasons. Brad Lincoln faces off against Chad Billingsley in today's match, looking to salvage a series split this afternoon.
- Newly claimed C Matt Pagnozzi singled as a pinch-hitter in the fifth. He also became the 52nd Pirate to play this season, breaking 2010's team record. At least Clint Hurdle and the FO got a chance to look at everyone this year.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review reports that the Pirates will probably keep prospect Bryan Morris in the bullpen, but are still evaluating Justin Wilson's future role.
- Indy SS Jordy Mercer was named to the 2011 USA World Cup/Pan Am roster. He'll play in both the World Cup in Panama City and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
- Johnstown's Pete Vuckovich, who worked for the Pirates as a coach and FO executive since 1992, was hired by the Seattle Mariners as a special assistant to GM Jack Zduriencik, the same position he held in Pittsburgh.