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Pirates Spring Preview: Mitch Keller Will Make Second Start in Battle vs. Rays

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

Mitch Keller will be on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park on Friday at 1:05 ET.

Keller last pitched against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. In that game, the recently-extended Keller worked two scoreless innings. He allowed a single hit, walked two and punched out two batters.

Manager Derek Shelton already informed Keller that he will be the Pirates’ starting pitcher on opening day in Miami. For now, he’ll get another tune-up agaisnt the Rays.

Ke’Bryan Hayes is back in the lineup after homering in Thursday’s game against Baltimore. Connor Joe will make his first start in center field in his professional career. Here’s the rest of the starting nine.

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

  1. Jared Triolo 2B
  2. Bryan Reynolds LF
  3. Ke’Bryan Hayes DH
  4. Connor Joe CF
  5. Rowdy Tellez 1B
  6. Liover Peguero SS
  7. Jason Delay C
  8. Billy McKinney RF
  9. Sergio Alcántara 2B

The Pirates will face left-hander Jacob Lopez, who will be making his first spring appearance. The 25-year-old made his big-league debut last season and totaled 12.1 innings pitched. He finished the year 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA.

The game will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

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