Keller outpitches Gray as Pirates beat Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mitch Keller pitched six strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates broke through late against Sonny Gray in a 7-4 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
Gray was perfect through five innings before Liover Peguero had an infield single with one out in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen had a two-run single as part of a three-run sixth for Pittsburgh and added a three-run homer in the ninth.
Keller (10-8) gave the offense time to solve Gray with another quality start. He gave up two runs and seven hits and struck out 12 — one short of matching a career high he set earlier this season.
After allowing at least six runs in three of his first four starts after the All-Star break, Keller has allowed six earned runs over his past 17 innings. He earned his first win since June 28 against San Diego.
David Bednar surrendered a run but got the last four outs for his 26th save.
Wins had been hard to come by for Gray (6-6) but not because of his performance. He started the day with a 3.04 ERA — third-best in the American League — and had not allowed more than three runs in any of his previous five starts.
Gray, coming off six scoreless innings in his last start, allowed four runs and four hits with three walks over his final 1 2/3 innings on Saturday following his perfect start. He struck out seven.
Pirates: RHP Colin Holderman came out of the game in the seventh with muscle cramps in his right arm. Holderman had walked Carlos Correa and thrown two balls to Max Kepler when he looked at his right arm and stretched out his fingers before a trip to the mound by manager Derek Shelton and a trainer.
Twins: OF Matt Wallner was in the original lineup a day after being hit in the hand by a pitch but was scratched before the game as he deals with continued soreness. Tests didn’t show any signs of a fracture and manager Rocco Baldelli said Wallner has soreness and swelling. ... C Ryan Jeffers missed a second straight game with back soreness, though Baldelli said Jeffers has shown signs of improvement.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 9.45 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale for Minnesota. Pittsburgh will go with RHP Osvaldo Bido (2-3, 5.05).