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Mitch Keller tosses shutout, Pirates beat Rockies to end 7-game slide

May 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rodolfo Castro’s two-run home run in the seventh inning backed a brilliant start by right-hander Mitch Keller as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the visiting Colorado Rockies 2-0 Monday to end a seven-game losing streak.

Keller (4-1) produced a four-hit shutout in his first career complete game. He struck out eight and walked one.

The Rockies had won two in a row and six of their past seven.

Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (3-4) kept pace in a pitchers’ duel for much of his outing. He gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings, with four strikeouts and three walks.

On the far side of the seventh inning stretch, Connor Joe led off for the Pirates with a single to right. Castro followed with his fourth homer, just clearing the wall in center, for a 2-0 lead.

Both teams had their chances earlier in the game.

Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the Pirates’ first with a single up the middle but later was caught stealing as Andrew McCutchen struck out.

In the third, Charlie Blackmon hit a two-out double for the Rockies but went nowhere.

Jack Suwinski led off the bottom of the third with a walk and went to second on Chris Owings’ single, but Suwinski was out at third on Austin Hedges’ bunt before Hayes grounded into a double play.

In the fifth, Colorado’s Mike Moustakas led off with a single, but Ezequiel Tovar hit into a double play. In the bottom of the fifth, Castro walked and Suwinski singled, but Owings struck out and Castro was out at third on a delayed steal attempt.

The Rockies’ Jurickson Profar drew a two-out walk in the sixth and went to second on Kris Bryant’s single, but Ryan McMahon grounded out.

Hedges doubled to left-center to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and Hayes reached on an infield single, but Bryan Reynolds grounded into a double play. McCutchen walked on four pitches before Carlos Santana hit into a forceout.

–Field Level Media