Fresh off of sweeping the Cubs, the Bucs welcomed the Reds back to Pittsburgh with a 4-1 win on Memorial Day. It was obvious that James McDonald was on his game today when he struck out the first two batters of the game. The offense stayed hot, scoring 2 runs in the first, both with two outs. Pedro Alvarez missed a home run by a few inches, picking up an RBI double off the LF wall, and Garrett Jones drove him in with an RBI single.
Neil Walker doubled down the RF line in the second, making it 3-0. JMac gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Hanigan in the third, and walked pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Drew Stubbs was bunting for some reason, and bunted it right back to McDonald, who fired to third to get the lead runner. He then struck out Wilson Valdez looking on a nasty curveball, and got Joey Votto to fly out to get out of the jam.
Pedro doubled again to lead off the third, and after the next two batters flew out, Rod Barajas drove him in to put the Pirates up 4-0. That would be more than enough for McDonald, who looked like he was going to get a chance for his first career complete game and possibly shutout. Instead, Clint Hurdle decided not to push him in the 90 degree weather, pulling him for Tony Watson after 8 innings, and just over 100 pitches. Watson gave up a run, and Joel Hanrahan came out for the ever-important save situation. He got the 1-out save, and the Bucs got their fourth straight win. The Pirates are now just 3 games back of the Reds in the division, with 2 games left in the series.
Win: McDonald (4-2)
Loss: Arroyo (2-3)
Save: Hanrahan (12)