McDonald broke into the majors with the Dodgers in 2008 and pitched parts of two-plus years for them before being dealt to Pittsburgh at last year's non- waiver trade deadline for reliever Octavio Dotel.
The hard-throwing McDonald has shown flashes, but enters tonight's tilt 9-8 with a 4.09 earned run average. McDonald lost for the second time in three starts on Sunday against Florida, as he allowed four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. McDonald has never faced his former team.
Getting the call for the Dodgers tonight will be left-hander Ted Lilly, who lost for the first time in five starts on Monday. Lilly was defeated by Arizona in that one, as he allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings, dropping him to 9-14 on the year to go along with a 4.39 ERA.
"If anything I felt a little better, like I was throwing the ball a little better," Lilly said. "I was making a few mistakes, but for the most part I felt good."
Lilly beat the Pirates the last time he faced them and is 6-4 in 17 games (15 starts) against Pittsburgh with a 4.01 ERA.
While the Pirates have already guaranteed themselves their 19th straight losing season, Los Angeles moved within two games of .500 on Friday, as James Loney hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the sixth inning to propel the Dodgers to a 7-2 win.
Jeff Locke (0-2), in his second career start, lasted just three innings and allowed three runs on five hits for Pittsburgh, which won the opener of this series on Thursday. Alex Presley homered in defeat.
"It was exciting to pitch [at Dodger Stadium]," Locke said. "I left a lot of pitches up. ... I have to keep the ball down."
Los Angeles is 4-2 against Pittsburgh this season and has won seven of the previous eight matchups between the two clubs.