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Pirates Preview: Keller Looks to Right Ship Against MLB’s Best



Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

Thanks to a six-run third inning against right-hander Spencer Strider, the Pittsburgh Pirates (51-61) defeated the Atlanta Braves (70-40) by a score of 7-6 at PNC Park on Monday night.

In their six-run third inning, the Pirates sent 11 men to the plate and scored five of their six runs with two outs.

Pirates’ rookies Jared Triolo, Liover Peguero and Henry Davis combined for five hits and four RBIs while Connor Joe homered for the second-straight game.

Tuesday’s game, the second of this four-game series, will begin at 7:05 ET and will be aired on AT&T SportsNet.


It looks like it will be a good day for a ballgame with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper-70s for first pitch. Winds west at 10 to 20 mph.

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (9-8, 4.35 ERA)

It’s been a rough go of it for Keller of late, who again struggled in his latest start against the Milwaukee Brewers last week.

Keller was tagged for eight runs on nine hits across 5.0 innings pitched. The right-hander struck out five and walked three batters.

Dating back to May 26, a span of 13 starts, Keller has gone 4-7 with a 5.92 ERA. He’s seen his season ERA spike by nearly two whole points from 2.44 to his current mark of 4.35.

The Braves have been tough on Keller throughout his career. In three matchups, Keller is 0-2 with a 10.03 ERA and has allowed 25 hits in 11.2 innings. The Braves have hit .424 with a 1.172 OPS against him.

The Braves will send out RHP Yonny Chirinos (5-4, 4.42 ERA)

Chirinos has only been on the Braves since they claimed him off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23.

In two starts with Atlanta, Chirinos is 1-0 with a 7.27 ERA (7er/8.2ip). He’s allowed 12 hits, walked a pair and struck out eight batters.

In 15 appearances (four starts) with the Rays to begin the season, Chirinos was 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA,

He has never faced the Pirates.

Braves Hitters vs. Keller

  • Austin Riley: 4 for 8, one triple, four RBIs, three strikeouts
  • Ronald Acuña Jr.: 2 for 8, one home run, one RBI, one walk, three strikeouts
  • Kevin Pillar: 2 for 5
  • Ozzie Albies: 1 for 4, one home run, two RBIs, one walk

Pirates Hitters vs. Chirinos 

  • Andrew McCutchen: 0 for 1, one walk


  • In the Pirates’ win on Monday night, eight of the nine batters in the starting lineup reached base safely at least one time.
  • The Pirates were 0-7 against the Braves last season and had dropped eight-straight contests against Atlanta prior to winning on Monday.
  • Keller has given up six runs or more in three of his last four outings and owns an ERA of 9.97 across those four outings. Prior to that stretch, he had only allowed six runs or more one time in his previous 49 starts (May 26 vs. Seattle Mariners).


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