(photo by John Lembo) - Doesn't appear that both of McKechnie's attendance record will be broken this spring. The ballpark had drawn 69,902 fans heading into today's game with the Twins, and as you can see by the above pic, it's the furthest thing from a sellout here at McKechnie. That being said, the Pirates have averaged 5,825 fans per game, which puts the mark of 5,500, established last season, very much in reach. The Pirates have two games left in Bradenton after today, and Friday's meeting with the Rays should bring 'em in, especially since Tampa Bay is starting Rookie-of-the-Year in waiting, Matt Moore. McKechnie Field drew an all-time record 88,003 fans last spring.
- Tell me if this makes sense: The Pirates play their final Grapefruit League game in Florida on Sunday when they head to Dunedin. Then they travel to Philadelphia to play two more exhibition games against the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies head to Pittsburgh to open the season against the Pirates. Weird.
- Pirates starter James McDonald, so good last week against Houston, had a start to forget today. He walked seven while giving up seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also plunked Danny Valencia in the back of the helmet with a curveball and served up a pair of no-doubter home runs to Brian Dinkelman and Brian Dozier. Twins lead the Pirates 7-1 heading in the top of the fourth inning.