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Jun 7, 2024 9:10 pm

Mitch Keller, Pirates blank struggling Twins

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Mitch Keller struck out eight batters in six scoreless innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates blanked the visiting Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Friday.

Keller (8-3) lowered his ERA to 3.16 and won his sixth consecutive start. Oneil Cruz and Connor Joe each hit solo home runs for Pittsburgh, which won its third game in its last four tries.

Joe Ryan (4-5) threw seven innings of two-run, two-hit ball for Minnesota, but the Twins’ offense failed to score a run for the first time since May 16, and they fell for the fourth straight game. Trevor Larnach, Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda and Byron Buxton each tallied two hits for Minnesota.

After a scoreless first inning, Cruz launched his ninth home run of the year off Ryan, giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 advantage.

Bryan Reynolds led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, before Cruz and Edward Olivares each worked one-out walks to load the bases. Nick Gonzales then drove in the second Pittsburgh run with a sacrifice fly, scoring Reynolds to put the Pirates up 2-0.

In the top of the fifth, Willi Castro drew a one-out walk for the Twins, followed by singles from Larnach and Correa, loading the bases for Royce Lewis.

Keller then escaped the jam with swinging strikeouts of Lewis and Max Kepler, keeping the shutout intact.

The Twins threatened again in the top of the sixth, as Miranda singled with one out. Buxton then singled but was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double. Keller got Carlos Santana to fly out.

Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect top of the seventh inning after coming in to replace Keller.

Ryan struck out eight and walked a pair before being replaced by Griffin Jax for the bottom of the eighth. After retiring Jack Suwinski and Henry Davis, Jax gave up a solo home run to Joe, his seventh of the season.

David Bednar pitched a scoreless ninth for Pittsburgh, earning his 13th save of the year.

–Field Level Media

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