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Pirates Preview: Keller and Bucs Aim for Seven in a Row



Pittsburgh Pirates-Mitch Keller

The Pittsburgh Pirates (32-27) made it six wins in a row Monday night against the Oakland Athletics (12-50) after a crazy and wild game.

The Pirates drew ten walks against the Athletics, with two of those walks resulting in RBIs for the Pirates.

Rob Zastryzny blew the lead in the eighth inning, but Andrew McCutchen’s second RBI of the game came by way of a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth.

Colin Holderman allowed three hits, Austin Hedges threw out MLB’s league leader in steals, and somehow, the Pirates pulled out a 5-4 victory, giving Holderman his first career save.

The first pitch at PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Monday’s game will be aired on AT&T Sportsnet. You can also listen to the game on the Pirates radio station, 93.7 The Fan.


It’s looking like it will be a partly cloudy day at first pitch for the Pirates and Athletics. Temperatures are expected to range between 67-77 degrees throughout the contest, with 6-10 mph winds blowing northwest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25 ERA)

Despite giving up ten hits in his last start on May 31, Keller earned the victory after pitching six innings and giving up four earned runs against the San Francisco Giants.

Keller never really ran into trouble in his last outing, and he never allowed more than one run in an inning. There were just a few moments here and there, but Keller battled and gave his team the best chance to win.

Keller has limited hard-hit balls this season, and that has attributed to a lot of his success ranking highly in both average exit velocity (86th percentile) and hard-hit percentage (89th percentile.) in 2023.

Keller has never faced Oakland in his career.

The Athletics will send out RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA)

Kaprielian had a horrendous April but was at least serviceable in May.

If you take his last start on May 31 (4.2 innings pitched, three earned runs) out of the equation, Kaprielian pitched 17 innings, eight earned runs, 17 hits, seven walks, and struck out 16.

Kaprielian sticks to mainly three pitches, but will use five on occasion. He mainly throws a four-seam (40.8%), a slider (29.9%), and a sinker (17.2%). In addition, Kaprielian throws a changeup (7.3%) and a curveball (4.8%) on occasion.

Kaprielian has never faced the Pirates in his career.

Athletics Hitters

  • Jace Peterson: 4-8

Pirates Hitters

  • Carlos Santana: 0-8 with three walks and two strikeouts.


  • Johan Oviedo matched a career-high seven innings pitched on Monday against the Athletics. Oviedo has pitched in seven innings two other times with the Pirates on April 14, 2023, and Sept. 24, 2022.
  • In addition, Oviedo pitched seven innings once with the St. Louis Cardinals on June 16, 2021.
  • On Monday, McCutchen drew three walks and hit one sac fly. Entering Monday, there had only been six instances in Pirates history to have a player record 3+ walks and 1+ sac fly. The last to do it before McCutchen was McCutchen on Sept. 24, 2011, vs the Cincinnati Reds.


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