Pirates blank the Twins 3-0

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mitch Keller pitched six scoreless innings to win his sixth straight start, Oneil Cruz homered for a second consecutive game and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Friday night.

Keller (8-3) scattered seven hits while striking eight and walking two. He also pitched at least five innings for the 44th straight time, the longest active streak in the major leagues.

During his winning streak, Keller has allowed five runs in 39 2/3 innings for a 1.13 ERA.

Aroldis Chapman, Colin Holderman and David Bednar each pitched one scoreless inning of relief to finish the eight-hitter. Bednar notched his 13th save in 16 opportunities as the Pirates recorded their third shutout of the season and won for the third time in their last four games.

Cruz hit a 422-foot drive into the stands in right-center field off Joe Ryan (4-5) to lead off the second. It was his team-high ninth of the season and came after he hit a 462-foot shot Thursday night in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Connor Joe homered with two outs in the eighth to extend the Pirates’ lead to 3-0, connecting against Griffin Jax.

Bryan Reynolds doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Nick Gonzales’ sacrifice fly, the 23rd RBI for the second baseman in 25 games since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Reynolds had two of the Pirates’ four hits.

Ryan allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and two walks as the Twins lose their fourth straight. They were swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees.

Trevor Larnach, Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda and Byron Buxton had two hits each for the Twins, but they were shut out for the fourth time.

The Twins loaded the bases with one out in fifth while trailing 1-0. However, Keller got out of the jam by striking out Royce Lewis and Max Kepler. Lewis’ nine-game hitting streak, which began last season, ended.

Twins assistant hitting coach Derek Shomon was ejected in the top of the fifth by plate umpire Paul Clemons for a called strike on Correa.


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