PITTSBURGH — Mitch Keller had a nice bounce-back outing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies pulled out a 2-1 win on Friday night at PNC Park.
In his two starts after appearing in his first-career All-Star Game, Keller (9-7) had given up a combined 14 earned runs in 11 innings pitched. The right-hander was much more effective on Friday.
Keller surrendered a two-run homer to Kyle Schwarber in the top of the third, but those were the only two runs the Phillies scored against Keller. The Pirates’ starter struck out eight batters in his 5.2 innings of work.
Keller’s counterpart in Wheeler was even better. The Phillies’ right-hander struck out 11 in 6.2 innings while limiting the Pirates’ to one run on three hits. Had it not been for a 42-minue rain delay in the bottom of the seventh, Wheeler (8-5) could have pitched even more.
The lone run scored off of Wheeler came when Ji-Man Choi roped a double into the right field corner, plating Bryan Reynolds.
Trailing by a run in the eighth, the Pirates had runners on first and second with one out and Reynolds at the plate, but the Pirates’ left fielder bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Star of the Game
Schwarber was on base in all five of his plate appearances with his homer, a double and a trio of walks (one intentional).
Stat of Interest:
Keller’s struggles dated back even further than his two previous post-All Star break outings. In his last 11 games dating back to May 26, Keller had a 5.51 ERA (40er/65.1ip).
- After the win, the Phillies are now 21-7 against the Pirates since the start of the 2018 season.
- With his RBI-double in the fifth, Choi has now driven in five runs in his last five games and has driven in nine in 12 games since returning from the injured list.
- Wheeler’s 11 strikeouts were tied for the second most he’s had in a game this season, one shy of a 12-strikeout performance on May 27 in Atlanta.
- Josh Palacios had a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning giving him his sixth hit as a pinch hitter this season. That’s tied with Aledmys Diaz (A’s) and Donovan Solano (Twins) for most in MLB.
- The Pirates recalled Palacios from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the spot of Carlos Santana, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Angel Perdomo had his suspension reduced from three games to two and will be active for Saturday’s game against the Phillies.
The Pirates (45-58) and Phillies (56-47) will continue their cross-state series on Saturday night. RHP Quinn Priester (1-1, 9.28 ERA) will make his first start since earning his first big-league win against the San Diego Padres. Aaron Nola (9-6, 4.25 ERA) will get the ball for the Phillies. First pitch: 7:05.