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Mitch Keller cruises Pirates past Brewers 4-2

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking for something postive from this disappointing season of baseball from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mitch Keller may be it. Despite struggling in his previous two starts, Keller’s shown some overall marked improvement this season, and that improvement continued in a big way Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Keller had a career-high 10 strikeouts, and even though he did give up a two-run homer in the fourth inning to Kolten Wong, he was mostly impressive, going six innings, giving up just those two runs on four hits with two walks to go along with the 10-pack of Ks.

He didn’t end up with the victory because the Bucco bats didn’t come alive until late, but Keller had everyone talking after the game.

Manager Derek Shelton said:

“After he gave up the homer, there was no panic in him. He continued to execute pitches and his stuff continued to get better, and I think that’s just a sign of him maturing as a pitcher.”

While Brewers manager Craig Counsell said:

“He’s a young pitcher with a really good arm, and I think we saw that. He was very locked in with his breaking ball tonight and then the fastball — that’s as big of velocity as we’ve seen from a starter. He got on a roll, and we weren’t able to upset that at all, that rhythm that he got into.”

Oneil Cruz had a big night at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a single in the third that scored Tucapita Marcano and an RBI double in the ninth that scored Michael Chavis and helped cushion Pittburgh’s lead.

Cruz also showed off his rocket arm on a double play to end the game.

Bryan Reynolds also went 2-for-4, as did Chavis, who also smacked a solo homer in the seventh, his 14th of the year.

All-in-all, a solid victory for the Buccos with some real positives. Let’s see if they can keep it rolling when they meet the Brew Crew again this afternoon at 2:10pm.