BRADENTON, Fla. – James McDonald could use another tuneup.
McDonald allowed 10 runs, seven hits and seven walks in just 3 2-3 innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates lost the Minnesota Twins 11-6 Thursday.
"Just a bad day," McDonald said. "I didn't have my good stuff and I left the ball up the zone. Sometimes, these days happen. Luckily, it was a spring training game, rather than have it happen in August, September or next week when it counts."
McDonald, scheduled to make his season debut April 8 at home against Philadelphia, walked three of his first four batters, then hit Danny Valencia on the back of the helmet with a pitch in the third. Valencia remained in the game and hit a sacrifice fly during a seven-run fourth inning.
Brian Dozier and Brian Dinkelman each hit a two-run homer for the Twins.
"It's not frustrating; it's baseball," McDonald said. "I've had days when it's worse. Other days, I've made those same pitches and gave up one run."
Last year, in his first full season as a starter, McDonald went 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA. He led the Pirates in starts (31) and strikeouts (142).
Brian Dozier and Brian Dinkelman hit two-run homers for the Twins, who had 15 hits. Dozier went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Dinkelman was 3-for-3 with four RBIs.
Twins left-hander Matt Maloney, starting for the first time in spring training after seven relief appearances, gave up one run and four hits in three innings. He might move to the rotation if Scott Baker (sore right elbow) or Jason Marquis (away from camp following his daughter's bicycle accident) is not ready for the start of the season.
"It's kind of the same role I was in last year, so I'm ready for it," Maloney said. "I know I can throw a couple innings when they need me to or I can come in and face one hitter. I'll take my innings as they come."
Maloney had pitched 12 consecutive scoreless innings before Neil Walker's RBI single in the first. Maloney appeared in 22 games, including 11 starts, over the past three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
Notes: Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (hip surgery) will begin the season on the 15-day DL. Morton is scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on April 9 and could make his regular-season debut April 15 against San Francisco. ... The Pirates reassigned RP Ryota Igarashi, INF Nick Evans, INF Jake Fox and C Eric Fryer to minor league camp. The Pirates released SS Josh Rodriguez, a winter-meeting draft pickup in 2010 who this year was in their minor league camp. Rodriguez signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets. ... Twins 2B Alexi Casilla was scratched from the lineup due to right knee stiffness. ... Twins RHP Scott Baker is to pitch Saturday in a minor league game. That way, he can go on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 27, the day after he last pitched in a big league exhibition game.