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Pirates Spring Training

Mitch Keller Impresses Again; Pirates Defeat Red Sox 6-2

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Mitch Keller took the mound against the Red Sox and LECOM Park for his fourth start of spring training on Monday. He blanked Boston over four innings, as the Pirates defeated Boston 6-2.

In Keller’s four scoreless innings, he allowed five hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. All five of the hits he allowed were singles, and two never left the infield. The right-hander attacked the strike zone, throwing 40 of his 61 pitches for strikes. He was able to work himself out of some traffic on the base paths, and was still hitting 99 mph on the radar gun in his last frame.

On the spring, Keller has yet to allow a run in his 12.2 innings of work. He’s walked just one and has picked up 11 strikeouts. Between the uptick in velocity, the addition of a new breaking ball and the results, Keller looks like a brand new pitcher early on here and the Pirates are hoping the soon-to-be 26-year-old can take a step forward this season.

Hoy Park hit his second homer off the spring, a line drive shot to right field off of Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta. Park saw the start of his spring training delayed, but has been pretty impressive in his limited showing.

Daniel Vogelbach crushed a home run to begin the fifth inning, his first of the spring and he certainly got his money’s worth on it.

The homeruns didn’t stop there as Kevin Newman also blasted his first long ball of the spring — a no-doubt three-run blast to left field off of Jake Diekman.

Roberto Perez picked up a single in his first at-bat before driving in a run with a double that snuck inside the third base bag in the fourth. Greg Allen was plunked by his third pitch of the spring and continued to show off his speed, swiping second and third base. Allen reached base in three different ways — a hit by pitch, a walk and a base hit. He’s having a very solid spring.

Aaron Fletcher, Chase De Jong, Heath Hembree, David Bednar each tossed scoreless innings in relief.

The Pirates will travel to Fort Myers on Wednesday for a 1:05 matchup with the Minnesota Twins.

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