If the Pittsburgh Pirates could just figure out how to beat one of the worst teams in baseball, they might have a respectable record at the moment. The Bucs fell to 1-4 against the Cincinnati Reds on the year, as Mitch Keller took another one on the chin, going just four and a third innings and giving five runs on five hits with two walks and just one strikeout in an 8-2 defeat to Cincy.
Keller is now 0-5 on the season with a 6.61 ERA in what we had hoped would be the season he came into his own. A strong-looking offseason just hasn’t materialize into real-world results for Keller.
Interestingly enough, however, it was the Buccos who scored first on a Ben Gamel solo shot in the bottom of the first inning.
As disappointing as Keller has been tossing the ball, Gamel’s been a pleasant surprise hitting it. We already knew he had the chops in the field, but the career .260 hitter is now batting .307 on the year for the Buccos to go along with three homers and 15 RBIs.
Gamel later scored Pittsburgh’s second run in the bottom of the third off of a double from Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh’s other plus-.300 hitter. Hayes went 1-for-2 with two walks on the day to up his team-leading mark to .324 on the season.
Pittsburgh had actually tied the game back up at that point, but Keller gave up a solo shot the following inning to Mike Moustakas and then two more runs in the fifth on a double to Brandon Drury.
Drury would later homer off of Heath Hembree, and with the Bucs only knocking out seven total hits in the day, that was all she wrote.
The Bucs now fall to 13-19 on the year, and they’ll look to get back in the win column on Saturday at 6:35, again versus Cincy.