MILWAUKEE (AP)—Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones helped James McDonald win when he didn’t have his best stuff.
McDonald may have helped himself even more.
|TWO-RUN SHOT—Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning June 3, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
In a tight spot in the sixth inning, he kept a cool head, striking out Rickie Weeks and Cody Ransom before departing. The Pirates hung on to win 6-5.
“It was a big moment for my team in the sixth and I was able to bump my chest and slow myself down and get out of that inning because I wasn’t very sharp today,” McDonald said.
McDonald gave up a run for the first time after 13 scoreless innings, ending the longest scoreless run by a Pirates pitcher this season.
He finished with eight strikeouts won for the third time in four starts. McDonald (5-2) held the Brewers to four hits and a walk, and only one of the three runs he allowed was earned.
“He didn’t have his best stuff today but he did have, and he has for much of the season, an extremely good downhill angle on his fastball.” Hurdle “It was good for him to finish.”
Joel Hanrahan pitched a shaky ninth for his 14th save of the season.
Clint Barmes hit a solo shot off John Axford in the ninth that extended the Pirates’ lead to 6-4.
The Pirates took two out of three in the series for their first winning series in Milwaukee since April 2010.
“It’s good to get a series win but to make it anything more than that, I’m not going to be jumping around, dancing in the streets,” Hurdle said. “We expect to win series when we go on the road, just like we do at home. We know the history and it is nice to do it, I get that.”
The Brewers are 59-21 against the Pirates since 2007.
McDonald led off the fifth inning with a single, and scored on McCutchen’s homer. Jones later made it 4-2 Pirates by homering for the second day in a row.
Rod Barajas added a solo homer in the top of the sixth.
Brewers starter Michael Fiers (1-1) gave up four runs and eight hits with eight strikeouts and a walk in five innings in his second big league start.