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Game Thread: Young Keller Takes on Veteran Cueto in Game Two

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Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

One day after a come-from-behind, ninth-inning rally to win by a score of 6-4, the Pittsburgh Pirates will take to Oracle Park once more to face off against the San Francisco Giants for game two of four. The pitching matchup will be an interesting one, as the young Bucs prospect Mitch Keller (1-3, 8.18) takes on veteran Johnny Cueto (0-0, --) in his 2019 debut.

Keller left the game early his last time out after taking a comebacker off the right wrist. Tests showed it was just a bruise, and he’s back hoping to finish off his 2019 campaign strong. It’s been rough sledding and inconsistent outings for the young righty, as he boasted an ugly 7.45 ERA in the month of August with 29 hits allowed in 19.1 innings pitched. Keller will want to show the glimmer of upside that the Pirates promoted him for if he wants to solidify his job in the starting rotation for 2020.

Meanwhile, Cueto and the Pirates have plenty of history, including one of the most important games in Pittsburgh in recent memory, when the Bucs beat Cueto and his Cincinnati Reds in the 2013 Wild Card Game. Coming off Tommy John surgery, I’m sure the bar is low for the 33-year old. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get yanked early at the first sign of fatigue and/or loss of command.

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman 2B

2 S Bryan Reynolds CF

3 L Colin Moran 3B

4 L Josh Bell 1B

5 R Jose Osuna RF

6 L Adam Frazier 2B

7 R Jacob Stallings C

8 L Kevin Kramer LF

9 R Mitch Keller RHP

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GIANTS

1 R Mauricio Dubon 2B

2 L Brandon Belt 1B

3 R Evan Longoria 3B

4 L Stephen Vogt C

5 R Kevin Pillar CF

6 L Brandon Crawford SS

7 R Jaylin Davis RF

8 R Austin Slater LF

9 R Johnny Cueto RHP