Yes, Mitch Keller. The young hurler for the Pittsburgh Pirates put in a a solid outing, going five and two-thirds, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out five while walking two, and the bullpen did it’s thing and brought it home for Keller, while the Pittsburgh bats did just enough in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Keller came into last nights game with an ERA over 8.00, and he gave up a walk in the first and a single to Jake Cronenworth in the second before settling into a groove that got him his second win of the season.
There was a slight hiccup in the bullpen, when local fireballer David Bednar gave up two hits in the bottom of the seventh inning, including a single to Austin Nola that scored Wil Myers to get the Padres within striking distance, but Kyle Crick worked a two-strikeout eighth to setup Richard Rodriguez and a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season.
As for the plate, the Bucs didn’t exactly snap out of their funk, but they did snap their scoreless inning streak, which officially ended at 22, in the top of the third, when Bryan Reynolds drove a Ryan Weathers slider to centerfield that scored Adam Frazier. Reynolds finished the day 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Bucs also got a run in the top of the sixth when Erik Gonzalez scored off of a Jacob Stallings fielder’s choice, and that was just enough for Buccos pitching to get the job done.
The Pirates banged out 10 hits on the night, including a 2-for-4 night from Colin Moran, and that’s hopefully a sign of things to come after the offense went into a funk for a week. If they keep making contact and cranking the hits, the runs will come.
The five-game losing streak is now officially over, as the Bucs climb back to 13-16 on the season, and they’ll play the rubber match against the Padres a little earlier this evening, with the game starting at 8:10pm, meaning I’ll be able to get you a recap right after the game instead of waiting until the morning.
The Bucs will be sending out JT Brubaker, who’s been really good for them this season so far, while the Padres will counter with Yu Darvish, who’s rocking a 2.13 ERA on the young season. With just five total runs scored in the series so far between the two teams, it’s probably another low-scoring affair on tap, but if Pittsburgh gets a good Brubaker performance and another night of timely hitting, there’s a real shot to take this series.