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Mitch Keller lifts Pirates past Twins 7-4

The Bucs have won three in a row.

MLB: MAR 07 Spring Training - Blue Jays at Pirates Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a strong performance from Opening Day starter Mitch Keller while Ke’Bryan Hayes and Travis Swaggerty went yard to lift the Bucs to a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twin on Saturday.

Keller got the start and went four and two thirds strong innings, giving up one run on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Despite a couple minor spring hiccups, he continues to show why the Bucs picked him as their top rotation man to kick off the season. His only mistake on Saturday was a solo shot given up to Trevor Larnach.

Offensively, Ke’Bryan Hayes launched his third dinger of the spring, which was a two-run shot in the fourth inning. If he can get that bat to finally come around to match his sparkling glove skills, the Bucs will be in business.

Swaggerty also went deep with his third homer, a solo shot in the seventh inning to pad Pittsburgh’s lead. It was a towering shot, and he’s now hitting .400 in the Grapefruit League this spring and is quickly earning himself some outfield time when the games start for real.

The Pirates moved to 7-12 on the spring with their third straight victory and will be back in action today against the Baltimore Orioles.