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Pirates Suffer First Loss of Season After Keller’s Shaky Start



Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

For the first time this season, the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered a loss, falling 5-3 to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Wednesday night.

The Nationals (2-3) used a four-run second inning against Pirates’ starter Mitch Keller, who scuffled for the second time in as many starts. Keller (0-1) worked 5.1 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits. The right-hander walked a pair and struck out five. 

The Pirates (5-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Michael A. Taylor’s single with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning. Taylor’s two-run single gave the Pirates 23 two-out RBIs this season, the most in baseball.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Keller ran into trouble in the bottom of the inning. 

After a 1-2-3 opening frame, Joey Gallo greeted Keller in the second with a leadoff homer to right field to cut the Pirates’ lead in half. Gallo ended the game 3 for 4. 

Later in the inning, Luis García Jr. evened the score with an RBI-double to left field, one of three hits for him on the night. CJ Abrams put the Nats ahead by a pair with a two-run single to right field.

The two sides remained scoreless until Jack Suwinski homered off of left-handed reliever Robert Garcia in the sixth inning. Suwinski’s first homer of the season was the eighth in his career against a left-handed pitcher. In addition to his home run, Suwinski doubled and finished the game 2 for 4.

Ildemaro Vargas and the Nationals struck back in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI-double that snuck inside of the third base bag and down the line. The blow ended Keller’s night.  

Former Pirates’ starter Trevor Williams (1-0) made his season debut with the Nationals and held the Pirates to two runs on three hits in 5.1 innings pitched. 

The Pirates brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but Kyle Finnegan slammed the door for his second save of the year.

Pirates’ manager Derek Shelton was ejected in the top of the seventh inning by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski. Muchlinski said Bryan Reynolds went on a check swing on a 3-2 count to end the inning without appealing to the third base umpire. Reynolds, meanwhile, saw his 33-game on-base streak come to an end. 

Up Next

The Pirates and Nationals will conclude their three-game series on Thursday. Martín Pérez (0-0, 2.08 ERA) will make his second start since joining the Pirates. Right-hander Josiah Gray (0-1, 15.75 ERA) will start for the Nats. First pitch: 4:05 ET.


  • Prior to first pitch, the Pirates added catcher Joey Bart to the active roster and placed fellow backstop Jason Delay on the 10-day injured list.

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