Florida at Pittsburgh

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Florida (57-60)000100000150
Pittsburgh (40-78) «20000410x790

Jones, Alvarez back McDonald in Pirates' win over Fish

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- It didn't take James McDonald long to fit in with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McDonald pitched seven sharp innings, Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez each drove in three runs and the Pirates returned home from another winless roadtrip, snapping a seven-game skid overall with a 7-1 victory over the Florida Marlins on Monday night.

McDonald had his second brilliant home start since joining the team sandwiched around a poor outing away from PNC Park.

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"Certain factors come into play on the road, just certain tangibles that you don't even realize," Alvarez said. "Just being at home, you're just a lot more comfortable and at ease. You've got the fans behind you -- that helps a lot, believe it or not."

Pittsburgh, which lost all six games of a six-game trip for the third time this season, is 13-48 away from home but a respectable 27-30 at PNC Park.

McDonald won his Pirates debut with six scoreless innings at home Aug. 8. He didn't make it out of the fifth in losing his most recent outing at San Diego last Wednesday.

"When he's on, he can cruise through his innings pretty quick," Pirates manager John Russell said.

Dan Uggla went 3 for 4 with an RBI for the Marlins, who fell three games under .500 and nine games behind in the National League wild-card race.

The Marlins, losers of four straight and nine of 12, held a 15-minute closed-door players-only meeting after the game.

"We talked about a lot of different things," Uggla said. "It doesn't take a genius to figure out we've been flat the last five to eight games. ... We have to take it upon ourselves as professionals and as a team to be more competitive, be more focused when we're playing and have more intensity. We've got to bounce back, even if something may not go right early on in a game."

The Pirates got two runs in the first against Florida starter Chris Volstad -- on Jones' sacrifice fly and Alvarez's single that scored Jose Tabata and Neil Walker. Volstad, a right-hander, then faced the minimum over the next four innings, retiring 10 of 11 batters at one point.

Volstad (6-9) was lifted for Taylor Tankersley in the sixth after he loaded the bases with no outs. Tankersley promptly gave up a two-run double to Jones, scoring McCutchen and Tabata.

Alvarez then followed with a single into the right-field corner, driving in Walker and Jones to make it 6-1.

Volstad gave up five runs on five hits and two walks in five-plus innings. He lost for the first time in five starts since being optioned to Triple-A for three starts last month.

"We've just got to pick it up a little bit," Volstad said. "Four in a row, we're a better team than that."

Making his third start with the Pirates since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deadline day trade, McDonald (2-2) pitched more than six innings for the first time in his career. He gave up a run and three hits, striking out six and walking two in improving to 2-1 with Pittsburgh.

"I think it's real important ... when you get a guy on the ropes, 1-2, 0-2 even 2-2 counts, to put him away right then and there," McDonald said.

Andrew McCutchen hit his 10th home run -- but only the second in the past month -- to center field leading off the seventh.

Uggla drove in Logan Morrison with a groundout in the fourth to account for Florida's run. The Marlins have scored only seven runs during their streak, during which they are 0 for 33 with runners in scoring position, including 0 for 6 Monday.

"I think we have the talent," Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "I think [the players] know we should be out there performing better. But then again, I say this honestly, most of them are trying 100 percent."

"We just have to raise our intensity to a high level," Uggla said. "There's no doubt in my mind that all 25 of us in this room can do that. I'm expecting to see a different team tomorrow."

Notes:

  • The Pirates have had four losing streaks of at least seven games this season; seven streaks of least five consecutive losses.
  • Florida rookie OF Mike Stanton, named NL player of the week early Monday, went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk.
  • Pittsburgh C Chris Snyder had two hits after having only one in his previous four games combined.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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James McDonald gives up only one run in seven innings, the longest outing of his career.  (AP)
James McDonald gives up only one run in seven innings, the longest outing of his career. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

P. Alvarez
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

J. McDonald
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 6
 

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Florida Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Hanley Ramirez, SS4000001 .285
Logan Morrison, LF3110100 .292
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4000003 .286
Dan Uggla, 2B4031000 .291
Mike Stanton, RF3010122 .275
Cody Ross, CF3000103 .263
Wes Helms, 3B4000013 .224
Brett Hayes, C3000030 .229
Chris Volstad, P2000020 .091
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
   a- Emilio Bonifacio, PH0000100 .241
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
Totals3015148  
a-walked for Sanches in the 8th
Batting
2B - Logan Morrison (6, McDonald)
RBI - Dan Uggla (75)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - H. Ramirez-Uggla-G. Sanchez
Florida Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Volstad (L,6-9) 5555220 4.91
Taylor Tankersley0211000 7.50
Brian Sanches 2211021 3.09
Leo Nunez 1000010 3.10
HBP - Walker (by Chris Volstad)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 62-37, Taylor Tankersley 8-4, Brian Sanches 33-23, Leo Nunez 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 6-5, Brian Sanches 1-3, Leo Nunez 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 21, Taylor Tankersley 2, Brian Sanches 8, Leo Nunez 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF4221000 .281
Jose Tabata, LF2200210 .289
Neil Walker, 2B3210000 .304
Garrett Jones, 1B3113000 .257
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4023010 .250
Ryan Doumit, RF4000012 .255
Chris Snyder, C4020000 .227
Argenis Diaz, SS3010003 .313
James McDonald, P3000022 .000
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Totals3079725  
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (18, Volstad), Garrett Jones (24, Tankersley)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (10, Sanches)
SF - Garrett Jones (6)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (34), Garrett Jones 3 (68), Pedro Alvarez 3 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (14)
SB - Andrew McCutchen (25, 2nd base off Volstad/Hayes)
PK - Argenis Diaz (1, Volstad)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Alvarez-Walker-G. Jones, Diaz-Walker-G. Jones
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James McDonald (W,2-2) 7311260 4.26
Chris Resop 1000210 5.79
Joel Hanrahan 1200010 4.03
Pitches-Strikes - James McDonald 109-68, Chris Resop 34-24, Joel Hanrahan 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James McDonald 5-9, Chris Resop 1-1, Joel Hanrahan 1-0
Batters Faced - James McDonald 25, Chris Resop 5, Joel Hanrahan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 13396
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Ron Kulpa