Mitch Keller, Pirates blank struggling Twins

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Pittsburgh PiratesJune 7, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

Bryan Reynolds led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, before Cruz and Edward Olivares each scored a one-out walk 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 walked with one out for the Twins, followed by singles by Larnach and Correa to load the bases for Royce Lewis.

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

The Twins threatened again in the top of the sixth inning, as Miranda singled with one out. Buxton then singled, but was thrown out at second trying to turn it into a double. Keller let Carlos Santana 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 eliminating 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 and earned his thirteenth save of the year.

–Field-level media

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