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Pirates Preview: Will Third Start be the Charm for Mitch Keller?



Pittsburgh Pirates, Mitch Keller

The Pittsburgh Pirates (8-2) secured their second walk-off victory over the Baltimore Orioles in as many days with a 3-2 win at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.

With the Pirates trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Edward Olivares grounded one up the middle. Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson made a diving play and tagged the second-base bag for the second out. He fired a throw to first, seeking a game-ending double play, but his throw was wild and went out of play. Two runs scored for the Pirates to give them the win.

Oneil Cruz delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning against the Orioles on Saturday.

The Pirates will now shift their focus to the Detroit Tigers (6-3) for a brief two-game series starting on Monday night.

It’s the first home night game for the Pirates this season with a 6:40 ET first pitch. The game will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh+.


Partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low-60’s throughout the game. It’s also solar eclipse day!

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (0-1, 6.55 ERA)

Keller is looking to right the ship after a pair of disappointing starts to begin the season.

The right-hander has allowed five runs (four earned) in each of his first two starts of the season — one against the Miami Marlins on opening day and the other last week against the Washington Nationals in D.C.

Though it’s only been two outings, Keller’s strikeout rate (14.8%) is by far the lowest of his career and his velocity is down from a season ago.

Keller has faced the Tigers four times in his career and has pitched pretty well. In four starts, he’s 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and has struck out 24 batters in 21 innings.

The Detroit Tigers Will Send Out RHP Reese Olson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Olson’s 2024 debut could not have gone much better. On Apr. 1, he threw 5.2 scoreless innings against the New York Mets and allowed three hits.

In his rookie season last year, the righty went 5-7 with a 3.99 ERA across 21 appearances/18 starts. Olson averaged a strikeout per nine innings with 103 punch outs in 103.2 innings pitched.

This will be his first time facing the Pirates and he’s gone 2-2 with a 5.18 ERA in interleague play in his career.

Tigers Hitters vs. Keller

  • Javier Báez: 4 for 11, one double, one home run, one RBI, six strikeouts
  • Mark Canha: 2 for 8, two strikeouts
  • Zach McKinstry: 0 for 3, one RBI, one walk, two strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Olson

  • Edward Olivares: 0 for 3, one strikeout


  • The Tigers’ offense comes in reeling, having scored just one run in their final two games against the Oakland A’s over the weekend.
  • Henry Davis has fallen into a slump at the plate. The Pirates’ catcher is hitless in his last 15 at-bats, though he did drive in a run on a sacrifice fly in Sunday’s win.
  • The Pirates’ series against the Tigers is the second of three interleague series at PNC Park to open the season. The Bucs won’t host a National League team until the Milwaukee Brewers come to Pittsburgh from Apr. 22-25.


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