The Los Angeles Angels shelled Mitch Keller for six runs, claiming the series against the Pirates with a 7-3 win.
That marks 14 runs allowed and an 11.45 ERA for the purported staff ace in Keller’s two starts since the All-Star Break.
Bryan Reynolds and Shohei Ohtani hit dueling solo shots in the first inning.
Angels’ first baseman Eduardo Escobar plated a run when he doubled with runners at the corners and no outs in the second, but Keller managed to strand two runners in scoring position from there.
The wheels fell off in the fifth inning, when Keller allowed home runs on back to back pitches, part of a four-run frame that put the Angels up 6-2.
The second of those homers came from Angels’ second baseman Luis Rengifo, who homered off Ángel Perdomo the next inning.
Pirates’ second baseman Nick Gonzales reached on an infield single to short to open the seventh—one that could’ve been ruled an error. Liover Peguero doubled him home for his first career RBI, then scored himself on an awkward exchange between catcher Matt Thais and reliever Jacob Webb on the throw back to the mound.
Carlos Santana doubled home a pair of runs, closing the deficit to 7-5 and bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Henry Davis. Davis struck out to end the rally.
Jared Triolo led off the eighth with a single, but the Pirates stranded him there.
Angels closer Carlos Estevez notched his 23 save of the season, striking out Jack Suwinski and working around a two-out walk to Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates came roaring back in the seventh inning, but couldn’t put the icing on their scoring burst with the decisive hit.
After failing to strike while the iron was hot, they didn’t come close to plating another run for the rest of the game.
Star of the Game:
Angels second baseman Luis Rengifo went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs.
Stat of Interest:
Mitch Keller’s three home runs allowed set a single game high for his career.
Former Pirate Tyler Anderson allowed one run through his first six innings, although Pittsburgh roughed him up in the seventh.
Keller’s ERA (4.01) now sits above four.
The west coast road trip continues on Monday at 9:40pm against the Padres. Pittsburgh (43-56) hasn’t announced their starter for the game yet, although it’s Rich Hill’s (7-9, 4.84 ERA, 94 SO) turn in the rotation with Mitch Keller getting bumped up a start after the day off. The Padres look to send out Yu Darvish (7-6, 4.36 ERA, 105 SO).