PITTSBURGH — Mitch Keller was masterful and threw eight shutout innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on Friday night.
Keller (11-8) was in complete command throughout his outing, holding the Cubs to just four hits. It took him 93 pitches to get through his outing. The right-hander walked one, hit a batter and struck out six.
This is the second time this season that Keller completed at least eight innings. He threw a complete game shutout on May 8 against the Colorado Rockies.
The Pirates struck for two runs in the first inning on run-scoring groundouts from Andrew McCutchen and Joshua Palacios off of Kyle Hendricks (5-7).
Ian Happ hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth off of David Bednar, but the Pirates’ closer sealed the win with his 28th save of the season after recording the final three outs.
Keller was hit in the right leg with a line drive comebacker off the bat of Nick Madrigal in the eighth but stayed in the game after throwing a warmup pitch and retired the next two batters.
Star of the Game
In a complete shocker of a decision, it’s Mitch Keller.
Stat to Know
This was the Pirates’ first win of the year against the Cubs after dropping the first seven contests. Entering play, the Pirates had dropped 12 of their last 13 against Chicago.
- This was the first time that Keller won back-to-back starts since May 26-31.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes finished the game with two hits and a walk. It was his ninth multi-hit performance in 20 games in the month of August.
- With his first-inning walk, Connor Joe has now reached base safely in 12 consecutive games. Joe finished the night 1 for 3 with a walk.
- Jack Suwinski snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a line drive single to right field in the sixth inning.
The Pirates (58-71) and Cubs (67-61) will continue their four-game series Saturday night. The Pirates have yet to announce a starter and Javier Assad (2-2, 3.13 ERA) will pitch for Chicago. The game will be aired on FOX. First pitch: 7:15.