Notes: McDonald gets last laugh versus cousin


Notes: McDonald gets last laugh versus cousin

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH -- For Darnell McDonald, Sunday's game against the Pirates was his first time he'd ever faced his cousin, Pirates right-hander James McDonald, in a major-league game.

Darnell McDonald is six years older than James but they were close growing up, spending summers together despite the age difference Darnell is six years older. James McDonald got the better of Darnell in this game, striking him out on a curveball in his first at-bat with two runners on in the third, and also holding him hitless in another at-bat.

He said he was just going to feed me fastballs, Darnell McDondl said. But he threw me curveballs. Im going to have to get on him for that."

Darnell, though, had the last laugh.

Im glad he pitched well, he said. But Im glad we won the game.

J.D. Drew left the game after the first inning bothered by a contusion to his left eye that he suffered in pregame batting practice when he attempted to bunt and the ball hit him in the eye. Francona doesnt expect the contusion to sideline Drew going forward.

The Sox and Pirates drew 39,511, a new single-game record, surpassing Saturdays crowd. For the series they drew 118,324, a three-game record at PNC Park.

Former Sox first baseman Sean Casey, now an analyst on MLB Network, was a pregame visitor to the clubhouse with his two sons, Andrew and Jacoby. Casey is a native of nearby Upper St. Clair, Penn.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his 14th save in 15 opportunities this season, pitching a scoreless ninth inning. He gave up a lead-off walk to Ronny Cedeno.

Right-hander Clay Buchholz, on the DL with a lower back strain, also threw on Sunday. He has his eye ona July 4 return against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

Carl Crawford, on the DL since June 18, because of a left hamstring strain, said his leg is feeling much better. But Francona is being cautious, knowing Crawford would like to make a return to the lineup when he is eligible, during the three-game series in Houston next weekend. Houston is Crawfords hometown.

If hes healthy, we want him to play, Francona said.

Bobby Jenks, on the disabled list since June 8 with left back tightness, threw an inning in a rehab outing with Double-A Portland Saturday night. Manager Terry Francona said Jenks will likely join the Sox in Philadelphia for the start of the three-game series on Tuesday.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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