Pirates Blanked by Orioles 1-0, Waste Mitch Keller’s Quality Start
Mitch Keller pitched effectively through traffic for six innings Friday night, but the Pittsburgh Pirates still lost to the Orioles 1-0 in the rain-delayed opener of a three-game series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Dean Kremer pitched 6.1 innings and combined with two relievers to shut the Pirates out on six hits. The Pirates (43-63) had their three-game winning streak end.
Keller (3-8) allowed eight hits but only one run. The Orioles (55-51) stranded seven runners during Keller’s six innings while going 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position but still ran their winning streak to four games.
Keller had only one strikeout and walked one. He notched another quality start in his first outing of August after going 1-2 despite a fine 2.61 ERA in five starts during July.
The Pirates had runners on first and second base with one out in the ninth, but Felix Bautista struck Oneil Cruz and Kevin Newman to end the game.
The Orioles scored the game’s lone run in the sixth inning when Ramon Urias chopped an RBI single into left field.
Anthony Santander led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Terrin Vavra’s one-out single. Urias followed with his hit.
The Pirates put runners in scoring position in the first two innings against Kremer after the start of the game was delayed one hour, 49 minutes. However, Ke’Bryan Hayes fouled out to end the first and Cal Mitchell killed the second-inning rally by grounding into a double play.
That began a stretch of 14 batters in a row retired by Kremer until Hayes doubled with one out in the seventh and the Pirates trailing 1-0. Hayes stole third but was left stranded when Newman grounded out to end the inning.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton was ejected in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso.
Kremer (4-3) gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two. That came after he went 0-2 with an 8.56 ERA in his previous three starts.
Cionel Perez got five outs and Bautista got fourth save in five opportunities.
Vavra, a rookie, had three hits for the Orioles while Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle added two each.
The Pirates were coming off a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park in which they overcame deficits of at least two runs in each game. It marked the first time the Pirates won three games in a row when trailing by two runs or more in the sixth inning or later since July 23-25, 1977.
The Pirates also had back-to-back walk-off wins for the first time since beating the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 17-18, 2018.
The series continues at 5:05 p.m. Saturday with JT Brubaker (2-9, 4.40) scheduled to start for the Pirates against Austin Voth (1-1, 5.54).
Brubaker went 0-2 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts in July. Voth is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in seven starts since being moved from the bullpen to the rotation in June.