Mitch Keller pitched well for the Pirates, but Daz Cameron and Miguel Cabrera paved the way for a Tigers 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon.
Keller turned in one of his better outings of the season so far for the Pirates. The only blemish on the right-hander came in the top of the second inning when Cameron capitalized on a hanging 0-2 slider and tripled off of the Clemente Wall. Eric Hasse scored from first.
Other than that, Keller looked confident on the mound and again featured his new two-seam fastball. He worked six full innings, allowed four hits, walked a pair and picked up seven strikeouts, tied for the most punch outs he’s recorded in a start this year.
Jack Suwinski hit his seventh homer of the season to leadoff the fourth inning, a solo shot off of Alex Faedo to tie the game 1-1
That's No. 7 for Jack-Jack! pic.twitter.com/LX1UUL92pV
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 8, 2022
The Suwinski homer was just one of three hits allowed by Faedo, who worked five innings and picked up seven strikeouts.
In the eighth inning, it looked like Bryan Reynolds made an incredible diving catch in centerfield. The call went to replay, and was overturned, and the reversal gave the Tigers runners on first and second with nobody out instead of a runner on first with one out.
Cabrera took advantage with a hard-hit single up the middle, resulting in a run and a 2-1 lead for the Tigers. Cameron added on another insurance run for Detroit in the top of the ninth with a run-scoring double the other way.
The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the ninth off Tigers closer Gregory Soto, but Soto retired Cal Mitchell with runners on the corners to finish off the game.
The Pirates begin a tough eight-game road trip starting on Thursday night against the Braves. JT Brubaker (0-5, 4.70) will look to bounce back after a rough start last time out. Max Fried (5-2, 2.74 ERA) will get the ball for Atlanta.
- New Pitch = New Mitch?: It’s only been two starts, but ever since Keller introduced his two-seam fastball, he has gotten good results. In his last outing against the Dodgers, he walked five in five innings, but only allowed a pair of hits and two runs. In this one, he was even more impressive and seemed to get better as his outing went on. He picked up a season-high 13 swings and misses. It will be very interesting to see how Keller progresses as his season goes on with a new pitch in his repertoire.
- ROY Candidate?: Don’t look now, but Suwinski is right in the middle of things when it comes to National League Rookie of the Year conversations. He may not be leading those discussions at the moment, but he’s playing is way right into the thick of things. His seven homeruns leads all National League rookies and only trails Jeremy Pena of the Astros (8) for the most among all rookies. He is tied for third in RBIs (15) and runs (17) for N.L. rookies.
- Tough Road Ahead: The last time the Padres were on the road, they faced a tall task against the Padres and Dodgers, The Bucs held their own, and won four out of the six games. Pittsburgh will again face some tough opponents, with four games against the defending World Series Champion Braves, who are playing good ball. They will then head to St. Louis for four games against the division-rival Cardinals.