The Pirates managed the equivalent of Halley’s Comet and a solar eclipse on the same night as Mitch Keller threw strikes and the offense scored in a 2-1 win in San Diego. Keller put up five and two-thirds shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks. The hitters didn’t exactly cover themselves with glory, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, but they did just enough.
Keller threw strikes consistently until the end of his outing. He gave up a walk in the first and a single in the second, then retired the next 12 hitters.
The Padres didn’t get a runner past first until the sixth, when Trent Grisham singled and stole second. Keller went to a full count on the next hitter before getting a line out, then walked Manny Machado on four pitches, one of them a wild pitch that put Grisham on third. Sam Howard came in, though, to get Eric Hosmer to ground out.
In contrast to the Padres, the Pirates had a wealth of chances. Facing Dinelson Lamet, who was making just his second start of the year, they had two hits in each of the first two innings, but managed not to score.
Ryan Weathers came on for the third and the Pirates greeted him with back-to-back doubles by Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds, making it 1-0. The run ended the Pirates’ scoreless streak at 22 innings. Reynolds reached third with one out, but Colin Moran popped up and Erik Gonzalez fanned.
The Bucs TOOTBLANed away another chance in the fifth. Keller led off with a single, his first career hit, and Frazier forced him. Frazier then got picked off, which was costly because Reynolds followed with another double.
Gonzalez got the Pirates their second run in the sixth. He singled with one out and stole second. Jacob Stallings bounced to second and Jake Cronenworth, apparently knowing who was running, took his time throwing to first. Gonzalez, running from second, went for the plate and beat Hosmer’s throw. Stallings ended up safe because Hosmer left the bag early to throw home, making for an odd scoring situation — Hosmer got an error but the run was earned.
The Padres cut the gap to 2-1 off David Bednar in the seventh. A single, a ground out and another single brought in a run. Bednar left the tying run at second by getting Fernando Tatis, Jr., to pop up.
Kyle Crick didn’t throw an over-abundance of strikes, but held the fort in the eighth, posting a walk and two strikeouts. Richard Rodriguez logged his 23rd consecutive scoreless outing in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Keller got the win to go 2-3. Rodriguez got his fifth save. Reynolds and Moran each had two hits.