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McDonald breaks up Cain's perfect game

Something will have to give in the Arizona desert on Wednesday afternoon.

The Pirates -- the club that has scored the fewest runs of any team in baseball, will face Daniel Hudson -- off to a horrendous start to his 2012 campaign.

Hudson gets the ball for Arizona in the series' rubber match, and he'll be countered by Pittsburgh righty James McDonald, who is looking to make it three straight solid outings to open the season.

The Pirates' bats finally woke up a bit in Tuesday's 5-4 victory, which marked the most runs they have scored in a game this season. The Bucs' 3-4-5 hitters -- Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones -- combined to go 10-for-14 with five RBIs and four runs scored.

The D-backs' offense may be headed in the opposite direction, with the possible absence of their two star outfielders -- Justin Upton and Chris Young.

Mired in a slump, Upton has a jammed left thumb and the disabled list is a possibility for him. Meanwhile, the red-hot Chris Young was removed from Tuesday's game after he ran into the wall catching a Pedro Alvarez fly ball. Young is slated for an MRI exam on his right shoulder before Wednesday's contest.

But before Tuesday's game, Young offered some words of wisdom about the D-backs offense, which he noted doesn't rely on one or two hitters.

"Our offense is amazing," Young said. "We'll play a lot of close games and different guys are going to have to step up."

They face McDonald, who has posted a 3.86 ERA in his two starts this season. He pitched well his last time out against San Francisco, but made his biggest splash by notching the club's only hit off a near-perfect Matt Cain.

"I've got to keep grinding, focusing on making pitches," McDonald said after that game, discussing his mindset of pitching without run support. "There will be times in the year when I may not be at my best, making bad pitches to make it tough on the team."

Right now, Hudson is in that kind of a funk. He allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings his last time start, and he came out of it with an ERA of 8.71.

Pirates: Runs at a premium
The Pirates are the first National League team in 47 years to get 11 games into a season without scoring or allowing more than five runs in any contest.

Oddly enough, it was Pittsburgh that last accomplished the feat. They didn't score or allow more than five in an NL record 16 straight games to start the 1965 campaign.

• Following Wednesday's game, the Pirates will head home and prepare to host a three-game series against the defending World Series champion Cardinals beginning Friday. Getting the ball for the Bucs on Friday will be Charlie Morton, followed by Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard.

• Pirates infielder Casey McGehee is hitting .435 in his career against Arizona, and he has a .395 mark at Chase Field. McGehee notched a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning on Tuesday.

D-backs: Upton DL-bound?
Upton may be headed to the DL after he had his jammed left thumb evaluated by a hand specialist Tuesday afternoon. He was out of the lineup that night.

"At some point, you have to think long term," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "If he's keeps beating on it, it's not going to get better. Then, [the DL] is something we would probably consider."

Upton injured his thumb while sliding into second base against the Giants on April 8 and has not been the same. He is just 5-for-24 since the injury and has not driven in a run this season.

• With Upton and Young banged up, it's likely outfielder Gerardo Parra will see additional playing time. The 2011 Gold Glove winner is hitting .261 with a homer in 23 at-bats this season.

Worth noting
• With Hudson getting the ball for Arizona on Wednesday, the Pirates ended a stretch to start the season in which they alternated facing lefties and righties.

Right-hander Ian Kennedy got the start on Tuesday, and the Pirates will face exclusively righties for the rest of the week.

"It is unusual," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "Not many years ago, you'd go a week, 10 days without seeing a single lefty." Comments