PITTSBURGH — James McDonald pitched just three innings Thursday night at Florida, allowing eight runs on six hits in a 9-5 loss.

“We’re not looking to find little nuggets,” Hurdle said. “We’re looking to win ballgames. This is not a league where you try hard, this league you’ve got to do good.”

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McDonald (0-2, 10.13 ERA) pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the first but fell apart in the second, allowing five runs. After starting the inning with two walks and a single, McDonald gave up a grand slam to Scott Cousins for a 4-1 Marlins lead.

“It was basically right down the middle,” McDonald said of the pitch that Cousins hit out.

Hanley Ramirez walked later in the inning, forcing another Florida (11-6) run across home plate.

McDonald struggled again in the third, setting the table for Brett Hayes to hit a three-run homer to left field by giving up a walk and a double to two of the first three batters of the inning. McDonald finished out the inning, but his night was over.

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The Pirates (8-11) battled back in the sixth inning, trailing 9-2. Pedro Alvarez, who hit his first home run of the year in the second inning, and Chris Snyder each singled in runs and Josh Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, which drove in another with the bases loaded to close the gap to 9-5.

That was as close at the Buccos would get, though, managing just one single the rest of the way. It was the last time the Pirates will ever play in Sun Life Stadium with the Marlins moving to a new stadium next year.

“It feels very, very good,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “When Pittsburgh came in, they were playing very well, so we were playing a very good team. We’ve been playing well, we’ve been scoring runs, we’ve been finding ways to get those runs in.”

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Chris Gates | 93-7 The Fan