The Pittsburgh Pirates have been off to a surprising start to begin the 2021 season. Unfortunately, Mitch Keller has been off to a dreadful start. That trend continued tonight for the Bucs’ right hander, who didn’t make it out of the third inning as the Pirates fell to the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park.
Keller gave up four runs on three hits and five walks in just 2.1 innings of work. The control continues to be a major issue, as his ERA continues to rise, now sitting at 8.20 on the season.
Jorge Soler’s double and Hunter Dozier’s triple put the Royals in front 3-0 in the first inning. A bases loaded walk in the third inning scored their fourth run, and singles by Salvador Perez and Soler in the fourth inning made it 6-0.
Pittsburgh battled back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two run homerun by Erik Gonzalez and a solo homerun by Jacob Stallings. They climbed even closer to within a run on a two run double by Todd Frazier in the fifth.
Kansas City responded in the sixth inning with three more runs. Soler’s double scored a run, and a two run double by Andrew Benintendi broken the game open again at 9-5.
The Bucs attempted another comeback in the eighth inning when Phillip Evans’ RBI single made it a three run game. Unfortunately that is as close as they would get, as the Royals shut them down in the ninth.
The Pirates missed out on the two game series sweep with the loss tonight. Keller continues to struggle which is the much larger issue for this team. After the day off on Thursday, the Pirates will continue their home stand against the St. Louis Cardinals, beginning on Friday at PNC Park.
Record vs. Royals: 1-1
Record vs. American League: 5-3
Record at Home: 5-4
Overall Record: 12-12
Let’s Go Bucs!