The Baltimore Orioles will look to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday
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The Orioles‘ first two wins against the Pirates were highlighted by two of their best performances by individuals this season
Cedric Mullins became just the seventh player in franchise history to hit for the cycle in a 6-3 win Friday. Tyler Wells then delivered the best effort of the season by an Orioles starting pitcher by allowing one hit over seven sparkling innings during a 2-0 win Saturday
The Orioles, who began a 10-game homestand by taking two of three games against the major-league-leading Tampa Bay Rays, look to extend their winning streak to five games Sunday
The Pirates are heading in the opposite direction. After being one of baseball’s top feel-good stories for the first month of the season, Pittsburgh has dropped 11 of its past 12 games after winning 11 of its previous 12 contests
“It’s one of those things that we have to continue to grind and create our own breaks,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I’m confident in this club being able to do it. We saw it earlier in the year. When you have young players, sometimes they put a little pressure on themselves. We have to relax and go pitch-by-pitch.
While Mullins provided nearly all of Baltimore’s fireworks Friday, Adley Rustchman and Gunnar Henderson provided the firepower Saturday with solo home runs in the first and second innings, respectively.
Wells took care of the rest, striking out a career-high eight and allowing his one hit in the second inning before retiring the next 17 batters until he walked Carlos Santana with two outs in the seventh.
But Wells escaped the jam by getting Miguel Andujar to fly out right after walking Jack Suwinski.
“Obviously we had a couple of great hits from Gunnar and Adley,” Wells said. “That kind of put us over the top.”
Yennier Cano pitched a scoreless eighth before Felix Bautista struck out the side in the ninth after yielding a leadoff single to pick up his 10th save of the season.
Pittsburgh mustered just three hits and struck out 11 times.
The Orioles will look to complete the sweep behind right-hander Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.40 ERA). Gibson was solid in his last outing, allowing just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks over six innings in a 3-0 loss to the Rays on Monday
Gibson went 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts over the previous two seasons against the Pirates as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies
The Pirates will counter with right-hander Mitch Keller (4-1, 2.72), who pitched a four-hit shutout against the Colorado Rockies in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 win Monday. He had eight strikeouts against just one walk
Keller’s first complete game shutout was the first by a Pirate since Jameson Taillon’s in April 2018.
But the Pirates haven’t won since Keller’s masterpiece
Keller has faced the Orioles just once, allowing a run on eight hits in six innings in a 1-0 loss last August
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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