In his most recent outing, McDonald gave up five runs in six innings, losing to the Cubs at home. He issued three walks, one of which was intentional, and served up two home runs. The numbers might be mediocre, but both he and Hurdle had good things to say about the performance afterward. "I had pretty decent command. They just hit the ball when they needed to," McDonald said. "This is a loss I can live with. I competed, went out there and gave everything I had. I had good stuff. They got me today." Added Hurdle: "He was so much better across the board than his first two starts [of the second half]. Downhill plane to his fastball, consistent velocity, his breaking ball was better, his slider was better." In three starts since the All-Star break, McDonald has posted an 8.62 ERA and allowed five home runs. On the season, he's been taken deep 12 times, half of them coming in July. Astros: Pearce set to join club on Sunday
Houston recently claimed infielder Steve Pearce off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Pearce should be present at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, at which time the Astros will make a corresponding roster move. Pearce batted .254 with four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs in 28 games for Baltimore this season. Pearce was drafted by the Pirates in the eighth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. He spent the first five seasons of his Major League career in Pittsburgh. Worth noting
The Pirates have gone 9-1 against the Astros this season. The two teams will play a three-game series at PNC Park from Sept. 3-5 and a three-game set at Minute Maid Park from Sept. 21-23.