Pirates’ Keller pulled 5 no-hit innings, Indians bunt in 7th

Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller delivers against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Pittsburgh Pirates starter Mitch Keller was pulled after five innings despite not allowing a hit — and walking eight — against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

After Keller left, the Indians got their first hit with one out in the seventh on a bunt single by Delino DeShields off reliever Sam Howard with Cleveland trailing 2-1.

Keller couldn’t find the plate in the first inning, when he walked the bases loaded after throwing balls on 12 of his first 15 pitches. The Indians, however, scored only once and then didn’t capitalize in the third after Keller walked the bases full for the second time.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton pulled Keller after 98 pitches — 49 were balls — and replaced him with reliever Nik Turley.

Keller threw six no-hit innings in his previous start against St. Louis on Sept. 19 before leaving and has now thrown 11 straight hitless innings.

Keller is the first NL pitcher with back-to-back no-hit outings of at least five innings since Johnny Vander Meer threw consecutive no-hitters in 1938, STATS said.

The right-hander was sidelined earlier this season with a left oblique injury.

The Pirates haven’t had a no-hitter since Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined for one in 1997.

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