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Pirates Preview: Homestand Continues Against Twins

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to complete the sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, falling 11-7 at PNC Park.

Bailey Falter surrendered four first-inning runs and Ben Heller gave up five runs out of the bullpen in his team debut.

The Pirates (29-33) will now welcome the Minnesota Twins (33-29) to Pittsburgh for the start of a weekend series on the banks of the Allegheny.

Friday’s first pitch is 6:40 ET and the game will be aired on Apple TV.

Weather

Mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the lower-70s. Slight chance of a shower or two. Winds W at 9-14 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (7-3, 3.42 ERA)

Keller picked up right where he left off in his first start of June after an excellent May.

The right-hander held the Blue Jays to one run and struck out eight in six innings pitched on Saturday in the Pirates’ 8-1 win.

In May, Keller went a perfect 4-0 with a stellar 1.30 ERA in four starts. His May ERA was the fifth-lowest in baseball and the third-lowest in the National League.

Keller was the winning pitcher in his one previous start against the Twins last August, when he struck out 12 and allowed two runs in six innings pitched.

The Minnesota Twins Will Send Out RHP Joe Ryan (4-4, 3.38 ERA)

Ryan had back-to-back solid starts to end May but scuffled in his last start on Saturday.

Facing the Astros in Houston, Ryan allowed four home runs and five runs in five innings pitched. Prior to his latest outing, he only allowed more than one home run in a start once this season.

Still, Ryan’s overall numbers this season are in great shape. He’s only walked 11 in 72 innings (1.38 walks per nine), which is the fifth-best mark in baseball.

Ryan has never faced the Pirates.

Twins Hitters vs. Keller

  • Kyle Farmer: 8 for 15, one double, one RBI, three walks, two strikeouts
  • Carlos Santana: 0 for 5, two walks, one strikeout
  • Willi Castro: 0 for 4, one strikeout
  • Max Kepler: 1 for 3, one RBI, one strikeout
  • Carlos Correa: 1 for 3, one strikeout
  • Royce Lewis: 0 for 3, two strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Ryan

  • Edward Olivares: 1 for 5, one home run, one RBI, one strikeout
  • Connor Joe: 2 for 3, one double
  • Yasmani Grandal: 1 for 3, one home run, two RBIs, two walks one strikeout

Tidbits

  • Oneil Cruz hit a 462-foot home run in the eighth inning off of Evan Phillips, the longest homer of Cruz’s career.
  • Andrew McCutchen scored his 900th career run while with the Pirates on Thursday, becoming the 11th player in team history to do so.
  • Mitch Keller has earned the win in each of his last five starts. Over that span, he has a 1.34 ERA and has held opponents to a .213 batting average.

Links

After Quick Turnaround, Justin Bruihl Looking for Stability With Pirates

Pirates Minor League Report: Big Games from Ashcraft and Reed

Pirates Takeaways: Cruz’s Missile, Falter Has Rare Struggle, Explanation on Controversial Call

Pirates Rally But Pitching Crumbles Late in 11-7 Loss to Dodgers

Around the Network:

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Steelers Now: Steelers OTAs Takeaways: Fields Takes Step, Two Sleeper DB Impress

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Closer Look at the First Weekend of Pitt Official Visitors – Offense

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