(Thursday, June 21st)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 9, Minnesota 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Rod Barajas and Garrett Jones both hit two- run homers and the Pittsburgh Pirates clobbered the Minnesota Twins, 9-1, in the rubber match of a three-game interleague set.
James McDonald (6-3) threw his first career complete game as he gave up just one run on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He hasn't given up more than three runs in his 14 starts this season and lowered his ERA to 2.19.
"I kind of really wanted that," said McDonald about the complete game. "I know all my teammates wanted me to finish the game and I finally believed in myself that I could finish the game. When it came to the last inning I went out there and it felt like the first inning all over again."
Andrew McCutchen finished a homer short of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, three RBI and two runs scored for the Pirates, who have won four of their last five.
Ryan Doumit drove in the lone run for the Twins, who have lost six of eight.
Liam Hendriks (0-4) made his 10th career start and remained winless as he was tagged for six runs -- three earned -- on eight hits with three strikeouts in five-plus innings of work.
"I need to get angry at myself, to be perfectly honest with you," said Hendriks. "I used that when I was playing football back in Australia. It was one of those things I used that when I got angry with myself, I'd get locked in."
Pittsburgh got on the board in the first inning when McCutchen tripled with two outs and came home on Jones' single.
Pittsburgh plated three more in the second thanks to McCutchen. Josh Harrison singled with one out, but McDonald then hit into a fielder's choice. Alex Presley kept the inning alive with a single and Neil Walker reached base on an error from Brian Dozier. McCutchen then hit a three-run double to left for a 4-0 lead.
Minnesota got one back in the fourth on Doumit's RBI single that plated Trevor Plouffe, who had doubled prior to Doumit's single, but Pittsburgh tacked on five more in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Pedro Alvarez singled to lead off and Barajas followed with his seventh homer of the season.
Jones added his two-run blast in the seventh and Alvarez hit a solo shot of his own later in the inning for a 9-1 lead.
McDonald worked around a one-out single in the ninth to finish the game.
The Twins are 155-124 all-time in interleague play and 14-10 against the Pirates...It was Jones' 31st birthday...Pittsburgh first baseman Casey McGehee went 1-for-4 in the game to extend his hitting streak to nine games...The Pirates host Detroit for three games starting on Friday...Minnesota plays three in Cincinnati beginning on Friday.
06/21 23:46:32 ET