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Pirates Use Keller’s Strong Start, Big 6th Inning to Defeat Mets 8-2

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Mitch Keller delivered an excellent start and the Pittsburgh Pirates put together a two-out rally in the sixth inning to defeat the New York Mets 8-2 at PNC Park on Monday afternoon and earn a series split. 

For the second time this season, Keller (10-5) completed eight innings. The right-hander held the Mets (44-45) to two runs on seven hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. 

The two runs Keller allowed came on one swing in the sixth inning. Brandon Nimmo ambushed Keller on a 3-0 pitch and hit a two-run homer to center field. 

By going eight innings, Keller has worked at least five innings for the 49th-consecutive start. That’s tied with A.J. Burnett for the second-longest streak in Pirates’ history. 

The Pirates’ offense made sure Keller had more than enough run support. 

With runners on the corners and the score tied at 2-all in the sixth, Rowdy Tellez legged out an infield single and plated Bryan Reynolds to put the Pirates (43-47) ahead 3-2.

Following Tellez, Nick Gonzales recorded an RBI double inside the first-base bag. Tellez scored a second run on the play and Gonzales moved up to third on a fielding error by Jeff McNeil in right field. Gonzales scored from third on an Adrian Houser wild pitch. 

To cap off the big inning, Joshua Palacios lined a solo homer over the Clemente Wall to put the Pirates ahead 7-2. It was Palacios’ first homer since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the homestand. 

Oneil Cruz broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run homer into the Pirates’ bullpen, his 14th homer of the season. 

Palacios drove in another run for the Pirates in the eighth inning on a fielder’s choice to short.

Mets rookie Christian Scott held the Pirates to one hit – Cruz’s two-run homer – walked a batter and struck out three. Scott retired the first nine batters in order before Andrew McCutchen drew a leadoff walk in the fourth. 

Brent Honeywell made his debut with the Pirates with a scoreless ninth inning. Eric Orze (0-1) took the loss in his MLB debut. 

Up Next

The Pirates head to Milwaukee for the start of a three-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh has yet to announce a starter and Colin Rea (8-2, 3.34 ERA) will start for the Brewers. First pitch: 8:10 ET.

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