BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 THE FAN) — James McDonald allowed just one hit over 4 shutout innings, but his teammates were shut out for the first 8 innings in a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay at a sundrenched but chilly and windswept McKechnie Field Thursday afternoon.
McDonald allowed a leadoff single to open the game, but he picked the runner off at first base, a point of emphasis for Pirate pitchers after opponents ran roughshod on the basepaths last season.
The “bad” JMac resurfaced in the 2nd inning when he walked the first two batters, throwing 8 balls on 9 pitches, but Tampa Bay’s Jack Cust swung at the first pitch for a 4-6-3 double play.
“I said, thank you.” McDonald grinned. “It’s never good to walk two in a row. But I was happy the way I got back down, got a ground ball double play, I could have let it get away, but I didn’t.”
James McDonald Post-Game: