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Pirates Preview: Tough Test Against Baseball’s Best



Mitch Keller, pittsburgh pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (65-75) capped off a series win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday with a 5-4 win and enjoyed an off day in Atlanta on Thursday.

In the win, Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his 13th home run of the season while Ji Hwan Bae’s first-career triple helped push the Pirates past the Brew Crew.

Now, the Pirates will look to carry their strong stretch of play to start a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves (91-48) on Friday night at Truist Park.

First pitch is set for 7:20 and the game will be aired on AT&T SportsNet.


It should be a good night for a ballgame with temperatures ranging from the mid-to-upper-70s with partly cloudy skies. Winds light and variable.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (11-8, 3.93 ERA)

Keller is coming off a strong start against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he allowed one run across 6.0 innings while striking out eight batters.

He’s has gone 6.0+ innings in each of his last four starts and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of them.

The right-hander’s next win on the season will be his 12th, which would match his win total from 2019-22.

Keller faced the Braves on Aug. 8 at PNC Park and allowed three runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings. The Pirates lost the game 8-6.

The Atlanta Braves Will Send Out RHP Bryce Elder (11-4, 3.42 ERA)

Even with allowing four runs in 6.0 innings on Aug. 28, Elder has been pitching well for the Braves of late and has a 2.22 ERA over his last four starts.

The 2023 All-Star has done a good job of limiting home runs, allowing only 15 in 155.1 innings pitched on the season.

Elder took the loss against the Pirates back on Aug. 10. In that game, the right-hander was tagged for five runs in 5.0 innings pitched.

Braves Hitters vs. Keller

  • Ronald Acuña Jr.: 3 for 11, two home runs, two RBIs, one walk, three strikeouts
  • Austin Riley: 4 for 10, one triple, four RBIs, three strikeouts
  • Ozzie Albies: 2 for 7, one home run, two RBIs, one walk
  • Marcell Ozuna: 1 for 6, one strikeout
  • Matt Olson: 2 for 5, one double, one strikeout
  • Kevin Pillar: 2 for 5,
  • Michael Harris: 2 for 4, two strikeouts
  • Eddie Rosario: 2 for 4, two strikeouts
  • Travis d’Arnaud: 2 for 3, two doubles, two RBIs, one strikeout

Pirates Hitters vs. Elder

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 1 for 3, two RBIs
  • Joshua Palacios: 0 for 3
  • Jason Delay: 2 for 2


  • Since his last start against the Braves, Keller has an impressive 1.38 ERA over his last four starts (4er/26.0ip). The Pirates have won all four of those starts.
  • In his last 26 games, Hayes has hit eight home runs. That’s a 50 home run pace over the course of 162 games.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates have won three-consecutive series and are 7-2 in their last nine games played.


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