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Pirates stumble in 7-2 loss to Nationals

Mitch Keller struggled in defeat.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t keep their winning streak rolling, as the bats went dead and Mitch Keller had another sub-par outing in a 7-2 defeat to the Washington Nationals.

Keller came into the season with some promise, as numerous videos of his offseason training were out there showing increased velocity and movement, and he looked like he was carrying at least some of that improvement into Spring Training. But it just hasn’t been the same in the regular season.

Keller went just three and two-thirds on Friday against Washington, giving up four runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out four. He had obvious issues with control, and he took the loss for Pittsburgh to move to 0-2 on the season with a sky-high 9.39 ERA. Between Keller and JT Brubaker, who also has an ERA over nine right now, the top of the rotations is really struggling.

The Pittsburgh bats couldn’t keep up their recent good play, as they finished with just five hits on the day and no batter had more than one, though Ke’Bryan Hayes did have a double and Hoy Park of all people was responsible for the two RBIs with single to the outfield in the second inning.

As for the bullpen, Miguel Yajure had his first truly ick outing of the year, giving up three runs on three hits and two walks in three innings pitched. His ERA spiked up to 5.40 in defeat.

After a few nights of positivity, this looked more like the team we expected to see. The Bucs will be back in action tonight for the third game of their four-game set against Washington.