Final: Pirates 3, Braves 1
WP: James McDonald (7-4)
LP: Tim Hudson (9-7)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (29)
James McDonald gave up his fair share of hits today (8), but when you strike out 9 batters in 5 1/3 innings, you can afford to do that. McDonald’s stuff was just filthy at times tonight as he posted his 2nd consecutive scoreless outing in a pitcher’s duel at Turner Field.
McDonald did get himself into some trouble, though as he left the game with 1 out and the bases loaded in the 6th inning. However, Chris Resop would come on to get Nate McLouth (who had an absolutely terrible game) to pop up and would strike out Alex Gonzalez to hold Atlanta scoreless.
The Pirates started the scoring as Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez both walked to lead off the 2nd inning. They would both advance a bag on a fly ball to McLouth, who allowed Alvarez to take 2nd base thanks to a ill-advised throw to 3rd base. That would prove costly as Cedeno would ground a ball to third base to score McCutchen instead of grounding into an inning ending DP as it would have been had McLouth thrown to 2nd. Mike McKenry would then deliver a huge, 2-out RBI single to score Alvarez.
The Pirates would also push one more run across when Garret Jones would score after he walked with 1 out in the 6th inning. He would then advance to 2nd as Neil Walker was somehow miraculously able to get a piece of a pitch out during a hit and run. Andrew McCutchen would then hit an RBI single to center and the Bucs would take a 3-0 lead.
Daniel McCutchen pitched a scoreless 7th inning, but gave up a lead off homer to Chipper Jones in the 8th and later walked Freddie Freeman. He would hand the ball over to Jose Veras, though, who shut things down as he retired the next 3 batters.
Joel Hanrahan would then close the door in the 9th inning with a 1-2-3 inning for his 29th save.
The win means the Pirates are in a tie with the victorious Cardinals today as they are both a 1/2 game ahead of the Brewers, who were off. Jeff Karstens takes the hill tomorrow against Tommy Hanson and the Braves in game 2 of this 4 game series.