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Keller’s Sharp Start Leads Pirates to 4-1 Win Over Braves

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Not even a rain delay in the middle of his outing could derail Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller in his start against the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park on Saturday night.

Keller (6-3) tossed 6.2 sharp innings to guide the Pirates (25-28) to a 4-1 win over the Braves (29-20), clinching a series win.

It was the fourth-straight start by Keller in which he worked at least six innings. Outside of a Jarred Kelenic RBI-single in the fourth inning, Keller held the Braves scoreless. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.

It looked like Keller’s night was going to end prematurely due to a 30-minute delay that interrupted the bottom of the fifth inning, but Keller trotted out from the Pirates’ bullpen and kept going. 

With two outs in the seventh inning, Keller plunked nine-hole hitter Zack Short and manager Derek Shelton opted to bring in Colin Holderman to face Ronald Acuña Jr. The move paid off as Holderman struck out the Braves’ leadoff hitter. 

Ji Hwan Bae plated the first run of the game when he followed Jared Triolo’s leadoff double with a base hit to center in the bottom of the third.

The next inning, Nick Gonzales continued to produce from the middle of the lineup. Gonzales hit an opposite-field off of the Clemente Wall which allowed Oneil Cruz to score from first. Gonzales moved up to third on a bobble from right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and scored on an Edward Olivares sac fly. 

The Pirates added on insurance in the seventh inning on a Bryan Reynolds single, which scored Bae.

David Bednar finished things off by retiring Acuña with two aboard in the ninth for his 11th save of the season.

Up Next

The Pirates and Braves will conclude their three-game set on Sunday afternoon. Two veteran left-handers will face off as Martín Pérez (1-3, 4.80 ERA) squares off with Chris Sale (7-1, 2.22 ERA).

Noteworthy

  • The Pirates honored the 1979 World Series champion team pregame to celebrate the 45th anniversary.
  • In addition to the mid-game delay, the start of the game was pushed back by 28 minutes due to inclement weather.
  • Catcher Jason Delay (knee) will begin a rehab assignment with Low-A Bradenton on Saturday.

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