Pirates’ Keller, Ortiz spell bullpen in 8-1 win over Blue Jays

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The Pittsburgh Pirates drew even in their series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, powered to an 8-1 win with an excellent start from Mitch Keller and a balanced showing at the plate as Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds each notching two-run homers.

Keller went six innings on 106 pitches, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run, which came in his final inning of work. Luis Ortiz piggybacked with three scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit and helping to preserve a taxed bullpen following the Pirates’ loss in the 14th inning the previous night.

Pittsburgh (27-31) raced out to a 3-o lead in the first inning. Andrew McCutchen drew a four-pitch walk and Connor Joe doubled to put two runners in scoring position. McCutchen scored on an Edward Olivares sacrifice fly, then Ke’Bryan Hayes pulled a slider 404 feet over the left-center fence. Both extra-base hits came on sliders running in over the heart of the plate from Toronto’s left-handed starter Yusei Kikuchi.

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