The Pirates once again brought a knife to a gunfight. Or maybe a pillow. At least they held the Braves to three home runs in a 6-1 loss.
Mitch Keller’s bizarre habit of alternating good starts and bad continued. He did manage to last five innings this time and he walked only one. He did, though, give up five runs on eight hits. Two of them left the park, including one to Ronald Acuna, Jr., on the first pitch he threw.
The home runs weren’t the only problems. Keller gave up a second run in the first on a couple of singles, then a run in the second on two more hits sandwiched around a hit batsman, as Keller plunked the opposing pitcher, Bryse Wilson. Keller pitched well in the third and fourth, but sucked the oxygen out of any breathe-easier narrative by giving up a home run to Ozzie Albies in the fifth, following a walk.
That was far more than the Pirates could manage. They were overmatched against Wilson, who came in with a 5.50 ERA and 6.37 FIP. Their only run came on Michael Perez’ second home run of the season. That ended his 0-for-26 streak and vaulted his average all the way over .100. Temporarily, that is, as he was retired his last three times up, twice on strikes, to drop back to .098.
The Pirates had only six other hits, all singles. They had only four at-bats in the game, all futile of course, with runners in scoring position.
Chris Stratton and Luis Oviedo each had a scoreless inning in relief. Sam Howard gave up two hits, including Albies’ second home run. Howard can be excused; he’s now given up seven hits in 15.1 IP.