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Keller Continues Dominance, Cruz Homers Again for Pirates in Shutout Win Over Twins

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Mitch Keller won his sixth-straight start and Oneil Cruz homered for the second-consecutive game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins at PNC Park on Friday night. 

Keller (8-3) completed six innings, bringing his streak of working six-plus innings to six starts, the longest by a Pirates’ pitcher since Gerrit Cole in 2015. He’s also pitched at least five innings in 44-straight starts, the longest by a Pirate since A.J. Burnett did it 49-straight times from 2012-13. 

The Twins (33-30) had two on with nobody out in the top of the first inning but Keller prevented them from scoring, just as he did for the duration of his outing. The Pirates’ right-hander allowed seven hits, walked a pair and struck out eight batters.

Cruz’s home run on Friday in the second gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The blast traveled 422 feet and landed high up in the stands on the Clemente Wall in right.

The Pirates (30-33) added another run off of Twins starter Joe Ryan in the fourth inning on Nick Gonzales’ sacrifice fly. Gonzales has seven RBIs over his last three games. 

Ryan (4-5) went seven innings and allowed two runs on two hits. He walked a pair and struck out eight. 

Connor Joe snapped an 0-for-13 skid by hitting a solo homer to left in the bottom of the eighth to Pirates ahead 3-0. It was Joe’s seventh home run of the season.

Aroldis Chapman, Colin Holderman and David Bednar preserved the win for Keller and the Pirates. Bednar collected his 13th save of the season and converted his 12th opportunity in a row. 

Up Next

Simeon Woods-Richardson will start for the Twins on Saturday. The Pirates have yet to announce a starting pitcher. First pitch: 4:05 ET.

Noteworthy

Michael A. Taylor was reinstated from the paternity list. Liover Peguero was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

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