J-Mac goes the distance in 9-1 trouncing of Twins

Final: Pirates 9, Twins 1

WP: James McDonald (6-3, 2.19 ERA)

LP: Liam Hendriks (0-4, 7.39 ERA)

This game really could not have gone any better. Going into this one, you had to like the Pirates’ chances as you had our ace going up against someone named Liam Hendriks. Hendriks hails from Australia, but his ERA is anything but “down under.” (Terrible attempt at a joke, I know…let’s just move on.)

James McDonald was brilliant tonight getting his first career complete game. He gave up just one run, on a Ryan Doumit RBI single, and didn’t walk a batter while recording five strikeouts.

The Pirates’ offense put on quite a display. Andrew McCutchen was a homer shy of the cycle. Rod Barajas, Garrett Jones, and Pedro Alvarez all hit home runs. And a good time was had by all.

The Pirates’ June surge has catapulted them into 29th place in the Majors in runs scored after holding down the 30th spot since Opening Day. Take that, San Diego.

Pedro Alvarez is 9 for 17 with five home runs, two doubles, and three walks over his last five games. He now has an OPS of .758, well above league average. His homer tonight bounced off the top of the right field grandstands and continued on out of the ball park.

Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer tonight on what was his 31st birthday. It also came against his former team as Jones spent seven seasons in the Twins organization before signing with the Pirates as a minor league free agent in 2009.

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