Mitch Keller, Pirates dominate Blue Jays

Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds hit two-run homers, right-hander Mitch Keller struck out eight and the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Pittsburgh gained a split of the first two games of a three-game series in ending Toronto’s four-game winning streak.

Jared Triolo had three hits for the Pirates, who are 2-2 on a five-game road trip.

Keller (7-3) allowed one run, five hits and one walk in six innings.

Luis L. Ortiz allowed one hit in three innings to earn his first career save.

Toronto left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (2-5) allowed six runs (five earned), nine hits and one walk while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings.

Pittsburgh scored three runs in the first. Andrew McCutchen led off with a four-pitch walk. Connor Joe doubled and Edward Olivares hit a sacrifice fly to right. Hayes tagged a hanging slider to left center for his second homer of the season.

Keller pitched around a one-out triple and a walk in the bottom of the first with two strikeouts.

Kikuchi retired eight in a row before Triolo led off the fifth with a double that skipped past third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Triolo took third on Michael A. Taylor’s sacrifice and scored on McCutchen’s single through a drawn-in infield to left. Reynolds singled to center. Joe hit an RBI single to left and was out trying for a double.

Pittsburgh added a run in the sixth. Hayes and Nick Gonzales led off with singles and advanced on Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice. Ryan Burr replaced Kikuchi. Hayes scored on Triolo’s grounder to shortstop on Bo Bichette’s errant throw home.

The Blue Jays scored in their sixth. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled with one out, took second on a groundout and scored when Daniel Vogelbach dumped a single to center.

Triolo singled to open the ninth against Brendon Little and was forced at second on McCutchen’s grounder. Reynolds hit his eighth homer of the season on a blast to center.

Toronto put right-hander Jordan Romano (right elbow inflammation) on the injured list Saturday and recalled left-hander Little from Triple-A Buffalo.

–Field Level Media