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Pirates Bullpen Blows Late Lead in 4-3 Loss to Diamondbacks, Keller Maintains Dominance

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Robert Stephenson

The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen blew a late lead in the seventh and drop game two to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3.

Robert Stephenson came in to replace Mitch Keller (5-1, 2.44 ERA) in the seventh inning, which seemed like an odd move at the time, but nonetheless, it was Stephenson’s game to lose at that point.

Stephenson ensues to give up a leadoff hit to Lourdes Gurriel Jr, with Pavin Smith coming to the plate after going 0-2 against Keller.

Smith, after working the count to 3-1, got a four-seamer down and in, and hammered it to right-center for a two-run go-ahead blast, giving the Diamondbacks the lead for good at 4-3.

Keller pitched yet another gem of a game, despite getting the no-decision.

He mixed his pitches well against the Diamondbacks with an even distribution between his cutter (29%), sinker (23%), and four-seam (23%).

At one point in his outing, Keller retired 16 in a row and struck out eight in seven in that time frame. Keller got into some soup in the sixth inning but managed to get out of it with the lead intact.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton made a questionable move in the seventh inning by pulling Keller, despite him having only 84 pitches thrown.

Keller’s average pitches thrown per game was 97.

The Diamondbacks drew first blood against the Pirates with a Ketel Marte solo shot off Keller.

During that at-bat, there were two borderline calls that were called balls, which bumped the count up to 3-2, and Keller tried to get Marte looking with a curveball on the outside.

It wasn’t a badly located pitch; Marte just went with it and clobbered it to center field. The Diamondbacks led it 1-0.

The Pirates punched right back in the bottom of the third with the bases loaded, two outs, and Ke’Bryan Hayes coming up to the plate.

In a 1-1 count, Hayes hammered a juicy-looking four-seamer from Pfaadt (0-1, 7.65 ERA) to right field and cleared the bases with a two-out, three RBI triple.

Those three RBIs mark back-to-back games Hayes has recorded three RBIs, which is the first time in his career he’s accomplished such a feat.

The Diamondbacks, after having 16-straight retired, got a base runner with Josh Rojas getting hit by a pitch and Marte getting his second base it of the game.

Corbin Carroll then came up to the plate with runners on second and first and two outs and delivered a clutch two-out infield single, allowing Rojas to score.

The Diamondbacks cut the lead to 3-2.

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