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Pirates Preview: Mitch Keller Takes Hot Stretch to Toronto

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates fell 5-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays in 14 innings on Friday in the opening game of the series at the Rogers Centre.

Bailey Falter tossed six-shutout innings but the Pirates’ bats fell flat late and Davis Schneider delivered a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 14th.

The Pirates (26-31) will try and even the series against the Jays (27-29) on Saturday behind the red-hot Mitch Keller.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:07 ET and the game will be aired on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Weather

The Rogers Centre has a roof so no weather information is required this series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (6-3, 3.59 ERA)

Keller continued his string of dominance in his last start against the Braves at PNC Park on Saturday.

He held Atlanta to one run on six hits in 6.2 innings without walking a batter and punched out four.

In four starts in the month of May, Keller has gone 4-0 with a sparkling 1.30 ERA and has limited opponents to a 5.72 ERA.

Keller has yet to face the Blue Jays, one of four teams he hasn’t pitched against in his big-league career.

The Toronto Blue Jays Will Send Out LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-4, 3.25 ERA)

Kikuchi has been excellent this season but was roughed up in his last start.

Facing the Tigers in Detroit, the left-hander lasted just three innings and allowed five runs on eight hits and didn’t strike out a batter.

Prior to that outing, Kikuchi had allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his previous nine starts.

Kikuchi has faced the Pirates three times and is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA. He tossed 6.1 shutout innings against the Bucs on May 7 of last year at PNC Park.

Blue Jays Hitters vs. Keller

  • Justin Turner: 1 for 5, one walk
  • Daniel Vogelbach: 1 for 4, one home run, one RBI, two walks, two strikeouts
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa: 1 for 3

Pirates Hitters vs. Kikuchi

  • Bryan Reynolds: 0 for 6, one walk
  • Michael A. Taylor: 2 for 5, one double, one home run, three RBIs, one walk, one strikeout
  • Connor Joe: 0 for 3, one strikeout
  • Andrew McCutchen: 1 for 2, one home run, two RBIs, one strikeout
  • Yasmani Grandal: 1 for 1, one home run, one RBI, one walk

Tidbits

  • Friday’s 14-inning game between the Pirates and Blue Jays was the longest in Major League Baseball this season and the longest the most innings the Pirates have played since 2018.
  • Andrew McCutchen passed Tommy Leach for 11th place on the Pirates’ all-time hits leaderboard with two hits on Friday.
  • In five starts in May, Bailey Falter posted a 2.23 ERA and opponents to a .193 batting average.

Links

Perrotto: Chuck Tanner Shouldn’t Be Forgotten

Pirates Minor League Report: Another Strong Start for Braxton Ashcraft

Pirates Squander Falter’s Start, Fall 5-3 to Blue Jays in 14 Innings

MLB Pipeline Mocks Big Prep Shortstop to Pirates

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Steelers Now: If Steelers Want to Make WR Trade, Courtland Sutton Looks Most Attractive

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Pitt Hosting Dual-Sport Florida Athlete for Official Visit This Month

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