McDonald Struggles, Pirates Shut Out By Blue Jays

Photo Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images

James McDonald got himself into trouble early and the Pirates’ offense was ineffective on Sunday at McKechnie Field as they lost a tough one to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0.
McDonald was scheduled to pitch three innings for the Buccos on Sunday, but he didn’t quite last that long.  The Pirates’ right hander gave up four funs, two of them earned, on four hits, while walking one and striking out two in his 2.2 innings of work.
Toronto jumped on the board early in the first inning on Jose Bautista’s infield single that scored Corey Patterson.  Eric Thames’ sacrifice fly to center field scored Yunel Escobar and the Blue Jays led 2-0 after the opening frame.
The scoring continued for Toronto in the third inning when Travis Snider reached base on the Buccos’ Corey Wimberly’s throwing error, allowing Bautista to score.  After Justin Thomas replaced McDonald on the mound, Thames singled home Snider to give the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead. 
Bautista scored his second run of the ballgame in the fifth inning on Snider’s double off of the Pirates’ Chris Resop, giving the Jays a 5-0 advantage, which would be the eventual final score. 
For the most part, the rest of the Pirates’ pitching staff played a nice game on Sunday.  Strong performances by Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, and Justin Wilson kept the Blue Jays in check for the latter part of the game.
The Pirates’ offense was virtually non-existent on Sunday.  In all, the Buccos managed just four hits as a team, two of which came from the bat of Pedro Alvarez.  Toronto’s starter Ricky Romero gave up just one hit and walked two, while striking out six in his four innings of work.  The Blue Jays used five pitchers on Sunday, all of which were effective against the Pirates’ batters.
The Buccos did have a few opportunities throughout the course of the afternoon, however, leaving a total of eight men on base while squandering two chances with a runner in scoring position, including the bottom of the ninth as Jason Jaramillo grounded out with runners on first and second to end the game.
The Pirates will next take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon at 1:05pm at McKechnie Field.  The Buccos’ current record stands at 5-5 as they begin the second week of the Grapefruit League, and they’ll certainly be tested over the next few days with games against the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, as well as their second split squad scrimmage against the Philadelphia Phillies as well as the Blue Jays.
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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