PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 7: James McDonald #53 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the game on July 7, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
James McDonald dominated the Giants 3-1 Saturday, striking out 10 batters and allowing four hits. He racked up strikeouts mostly with breaking stuff in the dirt, but he also got two with his fastball, one with his changeup, and two on backdoor breaking balls. It was a welcome return to form from McDonald whose last two starts weren't disasters but also weren't up to the standard he established early in the season.
McDonald also scored the first run of the game, walking to lead off the third and then coming all the way home on a double by Neil Walker. Michael McKenry homered in the fourth, and Pedro Alvarez had an RBI double in the sixth.
I'll have my report from the game in Columbus in just a bit.