Keller’s shutout lifts Royals to sixth straight win; Cardinals drop series to Reds
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Brad Keller pitched his first major league shutout, tossing a five-hitter as the Kansas City Royals won their sixth in a row by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-0 on Sunday.
Keller (4-2) was in total command, allowing only three hits until the ninth inning.
Making his 55th career start in the big leagues, he struck two, walked one and threw 111 pitches. It was his second complete game in the majors.
Salvador Pérez and Hunter Dozier homered to help Kansas City win its second consecutive series after losing its previous eight. Pittsburgh lost its fourth game in a row.
The Royals thrived off Chad Kuhl (1-2) who couldn’t find the strike zone. He walked six, helping set up nine runs in 2 1/3 innings. Only 31 of his 70 pitches were strikes.
After giving up a single in the third, he walked three of the next four batters and was yanked. Nick Tropeano relieved him and proceeded to walk Nicky Lopez, then give up a two-run single to Whit Merrifield that made it 9-0.
Seven Royals starters had an RBI with Merrifield and Salvador Pérez both having a pair.
Maikel Franco drove in a run in the first inning after singles by Merrifield and Perez. Alex Gordon also tacked on an RBI later in the inning.
The Pirates caught a bad break on the next batter when a wild pitch ricocheted off the home plate umpire nearly into the Royals dugout. Dozier and Alex Gordon both scored on the play.
Pirates: Begins a four-game series against Cincinnati including a doubleheader on Monday.
Royals: Have the day off on Monday before facing Detroit for a two-game series. They haven’t played the Tigers since July.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Andrew Miller loaded the bases with a hit batter, followed with a tying four-pitch walk, then threw a wild pitch that put Cincinnati ahead in a three-run seventh inning as the Reds kept up their slim playoff hopes with a 10-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
St. Louis, second in the NL Central at 20-19, dropped three games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs (27-20) with two weeks left. The fourth-place Reds are 20-26 and also trail Milwaukee (20-23) .
The Cardinals led 5-3 before Nick Castellanos' RBI single in the sixth off Alex Reyes.
Mike Moustakas drew a one-out walk in the seventh, and John Gant (0-3) relieved and allowed Tyler Stephenson’s single. With a 1-0 count to Brian Goodwin, athletic trainer Adam Olsen came to the mound, and Gant was removed due to groin discomfort.
Miller hit pinch-hitter Aristides Aquino with a 1-2 pitch, then walked Freddy Galvis on four pitches as the tying run came home. Miller started José García with an inside slider in the first that got by Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina as Tyler Stephenson scored for a 6-5 lead. García followed with an RBI groundout.
Eugenio Suárez hit his team-leading 13th home run in the eighth off Jake Woodford, and Aquino added a two-run homer in the ninth against Nabil Crismatt, Aquino’s first home run since he hit his 19th of last season on Sept 29.
Archie Bradley (2-0) pitched two hitless innings for his first win since he was acquired from Arizona on Aug. 31. Raisel Iglesias pitched around a walk in two hitless innings for his seventh save in nine chances.
Tyler Mahle allowed three runs, four hits and four walks, throwing 77 pitches in 2 2/3 innings.
Carlos Martínez allowed three runs and six hits in four innings and struck out eight in his longest outing since pitching 4 2/3 innings against Colorado on July 30, 2018.
Brian Goodwin homered in the second. Run-scoring singles by Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader built a 5-3 lead in the fifth.
Bader made a backhand diving catch in left-center to rob Castellanos of an extra-base hit leading off the eighth.
Reds: RHP Sonny Gray was placed on the 10-day IL with a right mid-back strain. Gray had allowed 11 runs in four innings over his previous two outings.
Cardinals: OF Austin Dean was removed from the game at the start of the fifth inning with right elbow discomfort. Tyler O’Neill replaced him in left field.
Reds: RHPs Trevor Bauer (4-3, 1.74) and Anthony DeSclafani (1-2, 7.20) are to start for Cincinnati in a doubleheader to open a four-game, three-day home series versus Pittsburgh.
Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (2-0, 0.83) faces Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes (3-0, 1.99) in game one of a doubleheader at Milwaukee to start a 13-game, nine-day trip. RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 7.47) will be recalled from the club’s alternate training site to start game two.
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