After winning 13-3 in the series opener, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to win the three-game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. That’s because they lost 4-3 on Saturday evening.
Mitch Keller came into the game with two straight scoreless appearances, including a shutout. His scoreless streak ended quickly in this game, but he still had another strong outing.
Keller allowed a first inning homer to Ketel Marte, who was the second batter of the game. He didn’t allow another run until the sixth inning, retiring 16 batters in a row at one point.
The Diamondbacks got a run in the sixth with two outs when Keller hit Josh Rojas, who was then singled to second base on an infield hit by Marte. After a double steal, another infield hit brought in a run off the bat of Corbin Carroll. Keller got a ground out to end the inning and his day.
Keller left with no walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 58 of 84 pitches for strikes. He now has a 2.44 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 62.2 innings.
The Pirates did all of their scoring in the third inning. It started with a single by Austin Hedges. He moved to second on a ground out by Andrew McCutchen. Bryan Reynolds walked, then Carlos Santana walked to load the bases, following an out by Jack Suwinski.
With two outs, Ke’Bryan Hayes came through with the clutch three-run triple, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead at the time.
After Keller left, Robert Stephenson quickly lost the lead, with what turned out to be the final runs of the game as well. He gave up a single to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to start the seventh. That was followed immediately by a two-run homer from Pavin Smith.
The Pirates got a double by Suwinski in the eighth and a walk to pinch-hitter Rodolfo Castro to start the ninth, but that was all they could do over the final three innings.
Jose Hernandez, Dauri Moreta and David Bednar threw scoreless ball over the final 2.1 innings for the Pirates.
The Milwaukee Brewers lost on Saturday, leaving them in a first place tie with the Pirates. Both teams have 24-21 records.
Game three of the series is Sunday at 1:35 PM with Roansy Contreras on the mound.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
No reason to pull him. They couldn’t touch him……HR, he was screwed.
Shelton had to pull him because of that “rough inning” of HBP, infield hit, infield hit. Shelton is awful. Worst in-game manager in MLB.
Seems obvious now, but I think most Managers make the same decision nowadays. Lots of high stress pitches in that 6th inning.
Stephenson was well rested and has been good all season. Just didn’t have it today.
Bingo. Just about every manager in the league would have done the same thing. Stephenson’s job has been the 7th inning and has don a very good job nailing down the 7th. Did not take care of business this time.
Keller should have had the 7th inning. He was dominating that game thru 6 and has been dominating lefties and the second and third batters were LH, including Pavin who took Stephenson deep. This is one of those Shelton losses that you get from -6 war managers.
Yeah but it’s not like he just had a 16 inning scoreless streak. Or was just named NL pitcher of the week. Or had 3 hits — 2 infield — and 0 walks. Tongue FIRMLY in cheek.
Not to mention he’s working with 5 days rest between his last two starts.
Just a poor decision.
What do we have in Lliover Peguero?
headliner in a trade for Sale
Bummer to lose this one, but the pen as a whole has been so freaking good this year. Lets win tomorrow to complete a series of the better starters all getting loses