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Cannonballs Coming: Mitch Keller pitches and hits Indianapolis to win

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MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Bradenton got rained out.

— Mitch Keller didn’t get off to a promising start in Indianapolis’ (14-12) 5-3 win over Louisville. He gave up back-to-back bombs in the first inning, but he followed that up with five shutout innings. He finished with six hits allowed, no walks and six strikeouts. He threw 56 of 87 pitches for strikes. Keller also had a big hit. Indy was struggling for the second time against Reds’ prospect Keury Mella, who hasn’t pitched well against everybody else. Keller drove in Indy’s first run with a double, then scored the tying run. Will Craig put Indy up with a three-run bomb that landed in the street beyond left field. Craig was 1-4 and the home run was his eighth.

Jason Martin: 0-3, BB
Kevin Newman: 0-3, BB
Jose Osuna: 1-3, BB
Ke’Bryan Hayes: 1-4
Kevin Kramer: 0-1
Dovydas Neverauskas: IP, 2 K, Sv

Semi-Interesting Note: Louisville was shifting Kevin Newman, of all people, with the second baseman on the left field side of second. They evidently knew what they were doing, because his first two times up he grounded right into the shift. I’ve mentioned before, it’s possible these shifts in the minors are as much development as strategy, or it could be that the shifts have gotten more sophisticated than I can figure out.

— Altoona (13-13) stomped Richmond, 9-2. Pedro Vasquez gave up a run on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five. Red-hot Hunter Owen went only 1-4, but he drove in four runs with a bases-loaded double and a sacrifice fly. Bligh Madris was 1-3 with a walk and three runs. Jared Oliva was 1-4. Brett Pope, Logan Hill, Jerrick Suiter and Arden Pabst each had two hits.

Another Semi-Interesting Note: The Richmond catcher was named Hamlet Marte. We need to trade for him.

— Greensboro (16-10) took an early 3-0 lead on a pair of home runs, but lost to Rome, 5-3. Mason Martin hit his eighth in the first and Pat Dorrian his third in the second, with one on. Steven Jennings pitched well for three innings, but gave up four in the fourth and fifth. Three were unearned, but he got hit hard. Jennings went five, giving up five hits and two walks, and fanning six. Rodolfo Castro, Grant Koch and Fabricio Macias all stayed hot. Castro was 2-4 with a double, and is 12-for-33 (.364) in his last nine games. Koch was 2-3 with a double and a walk, and is 12-for-27 (.444) in his last seven games. Macias was 2-4 and is 10-for-16 (.625) in his last four games.

Lolo Sanchez: 1-4
Martin: 1-2, 2 BB
Brett Kinneman: 0-4, 3 K (batting .154 with 37 Ks in 91 ABs)
Dorrian: 1-3, BB
Logan Stoelke: IP, H, 2 K

Yet Another Semi-Interesting Note: Facing Alan Rangel, who’s not a noteworthy prospect as far as I can tell, Greensboro had an interesting first three innings. In 14 plate appearances, they whiffed eight times and put the ball in play six times. Five of those six went for hits, including two homers.