Keller pitches 6 effective innings as the Pirates edge the Cubs 3-2

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — Mitch Keller pitched six effective innings, Nick Gonzales hit a key two-run single and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday.

Jack Suwinski connected for another homer against Jameson Taillon as Pittsburgh closed out a 4-3 road trip by taking three of four from Chicago. Gonzales, Andrew McCutchen and Jared Triolo each had two of the Pirates' 10 hits.

“Very proud to finish this road trip the way we did,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said.

Keller improved to 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three May starts. The right-hander allowed two runs and two hits, struck out three and walked three.

Keller (5-3) has worked at least five innings in his past 41 starts, the longest active streak in the majors.

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales hits a two-run single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“Just trying to be as efficient as possible and give us as much length as possible,” Keller said.

Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel each hit a sacrifice fly for Chicago, which was held to 10 runs and 18 hits in the series. Taillon (3-2) was charged with three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

“I thought I threw OK. Pitch count got up there,” said Taillon, who finished with 92 pitches, 55 for strikes. “That's a pretty patient team, and they have a good idea of what they want to do and what they want to make you do.”

The Cubs were down 3-1 when Suzuki was hit by a pitch leading off the sixth. Suzuki advanced on Cody Bellinger's double and scored on Morel's flyball to left.

But Keller limited the damage by retiring Ian Happ and Michael Busch on a pair of flyballs to right.

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Colin Holderman and Aroldis Chapman each struck out two in a perfect inning for Pittsburgh. David Bednar, who allowed Morel's game-ending single in Saturday's 1-0 loss, finished the two-hitter for his 10th save in 13 opportunities.

“It was a quiet day. Just not a lot of pressure today for sure,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said.

The Pirates jumped in front on Suwinski's fourth homer of the season, a 367-foot solo drive to right in the second. Suwinski, a Chicago native, is 5 for 6 with four homers in his career against Taillon.

The game was tied at 1 when Gonzales delivered in the fifth. With two out and the bases loaded, Gonzales drove in two runs with a liner into center field against Hayden Wesneski.

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell, second from left, talks to players during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Gonzales, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, has eight RBIs in 10 games since he was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on May 10.

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Chicago Cubs' Mike Tauchman, left, scores on a sacrifice fly by Seiya Suzuki as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Yasmani Grandal, right, gets the ball during the third inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“He's had really consistent at-bats,” Shelton said. “I mean big two-out base hit today. He went down to Triple-A. He worked on his swing. ... I think we're seeing the benefits of it since he's been back in the big leagues.”

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds, center, is safe against first baseman Michael Busch, right, at first base after hitting a single as Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, left, looks on during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson (right knee sprain) and 2B Nico Hoerner (left hamstring tightness) could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday. Swanson is on the 10-day injured list, and Hoerner has missed six consecutive games. “The goal is to just get it behind him,” Counsell said of Hoerner, “and I think we have a chance to do that on Tuesday.” ... LHP Drew Smyly (right hip impingement) will make a rehab appearance with High-A South Bend on Tuesday. ... RHP Daniel Palencia (strained right shoulder) allowed three runs in one inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday.

keller pitches 6 effective innings as the pirates edge the cubs 3-2

Baseball fans watch the fourth inning of a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Martín Pérez (1-3), 4.86 ERA) starts Tuesday night against San Francisco. RHP Logan Webb (4-4, 3.03 ERA) goes for the visiting Giants in the opener of a three-game set.

Cubs: Following a day off, the Cubs host the Braves on Tuesday night for the opener of a three-game series. Chicago dropped two of three at Atlanta during its previous road trip.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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