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Pirates Swept By Dodgers...Again

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dodger batters continued to feast on the tattered remains of the Pirates’ pitching staff Sunday, reaching double-digits again in an 11-7 Bucco loss.

Chris Archer (1-5) was able to strand six base runners in the first four innings, but his luck ran out in the fifth. Matt Beaty gave the Dodgers the lead with a bases loaded base hit, and Corey Seager added a fourth run on an RBI ground out.

Seager also opened the scoring Sunday, leading off the second inning with a first pitch home run.

Archer wound up walking a career high-tying six batters in his five innings of four run ball. He struck out three.

“It’s way too many free passes,” Archer said. “Playing with fire the whole game, and finally it all caught up to me in the fifth inning.”

The Pirates took an early 2-1 lead on a towering Bryan Reynolds two run homer in the second, but would end up falling behind for good in the fifth.

Adam Frazier brought the Pirates back to within one with a fifth inning solo shot, but the Dodgers piled on six runs- three of them unearned- in the sixth against Montana DuRapau and Dovydas Neverauskas.

Monday’s doubleheader impacted Clint Hurdle’s choice in relievers.

“If we would have tied the game, we would have gone to [Francisco] Liriano,” Hurdle said. “It’s hard to pitch your front edge to get to back end when you’re losing. That was my thought, it didn’t work out.”

The Pirates would end up rallying for three runs with two outs in the home half of the sixth, but never got closer than four runs again.

Gregory Polanco brought home the final run on a double in the ninth.

Dodger starter Kenta Maeda improves to 6-2 after lasting five innings, allowing three runs.

Colin Moran went 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Josh Bell scored twice in a 1-4 afternoon.

Keller Gets The Call

On Sunday, the Pirates confirmed a poorly kept secret: right-hander Mitch Keller, their top pitching prospect, will be making his MLB Monday in Cincinnati. He will be called-up from AAA Indianapolis for game two of the double-header.

While he is getting the nod, it’s not yet known what his immediate future with the team is.

”He could be one and back to the minor leagues to continue to grow and develop, or he could get an extended opportunity, and he also may never go back,” GM Neal Huntington said.

Keller has a career 4.17 ERA in 99.1 IP in AAA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. He has been working on adding a slider to his repertoire this month and has posted better results with it. He’s struck out 14 batters total in his previous two starts while allowing just 3 runs in 13 IP.

Injuries to the starting rotation are forcing the Pirates’ hand to promote him sooner than expected.

“In a perfect world, we would have given him more time [in AAA],” Huntington said. “We’re not in a perfect world. We feel like he’s ready to come up here and compete. He’ll have the opportunity to go out there and continue to grow.”

On Deck

The Pirates are heading to Cincinnati for a twin bill with the Reds on Memorial Day. In game one, Nick Kingham (1-1, 8.76) will face Luis Castillo (5-1, 2.38), with first pitch coming a 1:10 p.m.. Keller, as previously mentioned, will make his major league debut in game two. The Reds will counter with Sonny Gray 1-4, 3.78) at 7:10 p.m..

NUMB3RS

1. The Pirates have gone 7-16 against the NL West this season.

2. Reynolds’ home run had an exit velocity of 108.3 MPH. That’s the hardest he’s hit a ball in the majors.

3. Jose Osuna was used as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. He is the 41st different player the Pirates have used this year. They used 48 different players in 2018.