Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander James McDonald, the star of the Pirates' staff in the first half of the season, has been removed from the starting rotation for the stretch run because he has faltered recently. He will be replaced by right-hander Kyle McPherson on Wednesday against the Brewers. McDonald went 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the first half of the season, and Pittsburgh fans were stunned when he was not named to the All-Star team. But he has a second-half ERA of 5.84 in his past 12 starts. He is 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA for the season. McDonald will pitch out of the bullpen for the time being, although he has not pitched in relief since coming to Pittsburgh in 2010. McPherson, 24, has allowed two runs in 11 2/3 innings of relief for the Pirates since debuting Aug. 20. He was 3-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 12 minor league starts this season for Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. --- A's outfielder Coco Crisp did not play in Sunday's game against the Orioles because he is dealing with allergic conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye. Pink eye is a contagious eye infection that typically lasts for just a day or two, so Crisp probably wil return to the lineup on Tuesday. -- Tigers catcher Alex Avila left Sunday's game against Cleveland after colliding with first baseman Prince Fielder while chasing a foul ball. Tigers officials said he did not show concussion symptoms, and he is listed as day-to-day.
- Pittsburgh Pirates