Mitch Keller rocked as Pirates drop 2nd game of doubleheader to Reds |

Mitch Keller rocked as Pirates drop 2nd game of doubleheader to Reds

Associated Press
Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (left) meets with catcher Jacob Stallings and pitching coach Ray Searage after giving up a grand slam to the Reds’ Jose Iglesias in the first inning Monday night in Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI — Jose Iglesias has been drawing rave reviews all season for his nifty glove work.

He contributed nicely at the plate Monday, too.

The slick-fielding Iglesias hit his first career grand slam off Mitch Keller in the right-hander’s major league debut, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Monday for a split of their day-night doubleheader.

“Every time you get such a lead, it doesn’t hurt,” Iglesias said. “I put a good swing on it to put my team in position to win the game. It feels good. I did it with the bat this time.”

Iglesias’ homer was part of a six-run first. Derek Dietrich and Yasiel Puig added back-to-back homers in the seventh against Alex McRae.

Pittsburgh rallied for an 8-5 victory in the opener, going ahead to stay when Bryan Reynolds hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the Pirates’ four-run eighth inning.

Kyle Crick (2-1) got four outs for the win, and Felipe Vazquez earned his 14th save.

The doubleheader was scheduled after the Pirates-Reds game March 30 was rained out.

Cincinnati jumped all over Keller (0-1). Nick Senzel walked, Jesse Winker singled and Eugenio Suarez walked to load the bases with no outs in the first.

After Dietrich struck out, Puig singled in a run and Iglesias hit a drive to left-center for his fourth homer this season. Senzel also had an RBI single in the inning as the Reds sent 11 batters to the plate while Keller was throwing 41 pitches.

“We knew we had an opportunity in the first inning,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The grand slam was huge. Their pitcher settled down and actually did a good job for them.”

Keller, one of Pittsburgh’s top prospects, allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked two in four innings.

“The first inning didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I thought I responded well,” the 23-year-old said. “The first inning, I was a little amped up and my offspeed pitches weren’t as crisp as they were in the second, third and fourth innings.”

“He got punched hard early,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The hole he dug was awful deep. He got better as he went on. He held his poise and stayed aggressive.”

Cincinnati’s fast start was more than enough support for Sonny Gray (2-4), who pitched six innings of one-run ball. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two in his second straight win.

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.