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Pirates vs. Reds — 9/15/2021

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Bucs’ Keller hopes third time against Cincinnati is the charm

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds (75-70) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-91), Sept. 15, 2021 @ 6:35 p.m.

Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh

TV: AT&T Sports Pittsburgh

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

Reds SB Nation Site: redreporter.com

Projected Starters

Reds: Vladimir Gutierrez – RHP – (9-6) — 4.05 ERA — 82 total Ks

Pirates: Mitch Keller – RHP – (4-11) – 6.29 ERA – 82 total Ks

Probable Starting Lineups (subject to change)

Reds

1. Jonathan India – 2B

2. Max Schrock – LF

3. Nick Castellanos – RF

4. Joey Votto – 1B

5. Mike Moustakas – 3B

6. Kyle Farmer – SS

7. Tucker Barnhart — C

8. Shogo Akiyama – CF

9. Vladimir Gutierrez — P

Pirates

1. Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B

2. Yoshi Tsutsugo — RF

3. Bryan Reynolds – CF

4. Colin Moran – 1B

5. Jacob Stallings – C

6. Ben Gamel — LF

7. Kevin Newman – SS

8. Hoy Park – 2B

9. Mitch Keller — P

The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to play the spoiler role once again when they meet the playoff contending Cincinnati Reds in the second game of their three-game series tonight at 6:35 p.m. at PNC Park.

Right-hander Mitch Keller, coming off an outing that saw him give up 10 hits and four earned runs in five innings against Detroit a week ago, will look to tame the Reds.

He’ll be opposed by right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez.

Keller drags a 4-11 win-loss record and a 6.29 ERA into tonight’s matchup, and if his recent history against the Reds is any indication, he – and Pirates fans – could be in for a long night.

Keller last faced Cincinnati on Aug. 7, in a game the Pirates lost 11-3. Keller didn’t take all the punishment, but he did give up four earned runs, four walks and seven hits in five innings. He also hit a batter and struck out four.

That actually represented significant improvement over his previous start against the Reds, which came on May 10. In that game – a 14-1 Cincinnati win – Keller gave up seven hits, seven earned runs and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Conversely, his mound opponent had success in his only outing against the Pirates. In the Aug. 7 matchup against Keller, Gutierrez went six innings and allowed six hits and one run while striking out six and walking one.

While the Pirates are playing out the string, the Reds will have plenty at stake tonight, as they are battling for the remaining Wild Card playoff berth that’s up for grabs in the National League.

The Reds currently trail NL Central rival St. Louis by one-half game in the Wild Card chase, with San Diego a game back of the Cardinals and the Phillies three behind. St. Louis, San Diego and Philadelphia each has 18 games remaining while the Reds have 17 left to play.

NOTES – Reliever David Bednar apparently is a quick healer. Todd Tomczyk, Pirates’ director of sports medicine, told reporters that Bednar – placed on the injured list retroactive to Sept. 11 with a right oblique injury – played catch Tuesday and appeared to be pain free. He will be reevaluated Thursday.