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Pirates Preview: Which Mitch Will Show up in Minnesota?



Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (54-68) squandered a handful of opportunities against the Minnesota Twins (64-59) on Friday night, falling 5-1.

As a team, the Pirates went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. Bryan Reynolds and Endy Rodriguez each finished with three hits, while Ji Hwan Bae was on base three times in his return off the injured list.

Outside of those three, the rest of the lineup combined to go 1 for 21 in the loss.

Having lost four of their last five games, the Pirates will look to even the series on Saturday night.

Saturday’s game will begin at 7:10 ET and can be watched on AT&T SportsNet.


It’s going to be a scorcher in Minneapolis with a high temperature of 96 degrees and sunny skies. Winds SW at 10-15 mph.

The Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (9-8, 4.27 ERA)

Keller is coming off of a strong outing against the Cincinnati Reds in the front-end of a doubleheader on Sunday.

In that game, Keller allowed two runs (one earned) in 6.0 innings while striking out seven batters.

It was a much needed strong performance from Keller, who had a 7.22 ERA over his last seven starts prior to Sunday’s outing.

Keller has never faced the Twins in his career, one of the five teams he has yet to pitch against.

The Twins Will Send Out RHP Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.04 ERA)

After a couple of hiccups in July, Gray is back on track for the Twins and has been stellar over his last five starts.

In those five outings, the veteran right-hander has posted a 2.61 ERA (9er/31.0ip) with 34 strikeouts and only four free passes. He’s limited opponents to a measly .579 OPS during that stretch.

Gray has extensive experience against the Pirates from when he was Reds, facing Pittsburgh a total of nine times (eight starts).

In his career against the Pirates, Gray is 4-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 45.0 innings.

Twins Hitters vs. Keller

  • Kyle Farmer: 8 for 15, one double, one RBI, three walks, two strikeouts
  • Joey Gallo: 1 for 2, one home run, one RBI, one walk, one strikeout

Pirates Hitters vs. Gray

  • Bryan Reynolds: 4 for 11, one double, two home runs, three RBIs, four strikeouts
  • Andrew McCutchen: 1 for 7, one double, one walk, three strikeouts
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 1 for 3, one RBI, one strikeout


  • Keller is looking for his first win since June 28 against the San Diego Padres. Since then, his last five decisions have been losses and the Pirates have dropped seven of the last eight games he’s pitched.
  • Reynolds has four RBIs in his last three games and has driven in six runs in his last five games played. His RBI on Friday was his team-leading 60th of the season.
  • In their last five games with runners in scoring position, the Pirates are 10 for 56 (.179).


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