Pirates snap eight-game skid
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mitch Keller earned his first major league victory, Jacob Stallings had a homer and a two-run double, and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 10-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Kevin Newman, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds also homered for the Pirates, who won for just the third time in 21 games and only the fifth time since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh jumped to an early 6-0 lead on Jose Suarez (2-4) and the road-weary Angels, who played in Boston on Sunday.
Keller (1-1) came up from the minors to make his fourth big league start, and the Pirates’ top pitching prospect finally secured his first win. The rangy right-hander yielded five hits, two walks and just one earned run over five innings, striking out four and pitching out of two late jams.
Max Stassi drove in his first run for the Angels, but Los Angeles opened a seven-game homestand by losing for the ninth time in 11 games.
Starling Marte had three hits for the Pirates, who have skidded out of playoff contention over the past month. They began their first series at the Big A since 2013 by trouncing a similarly sliding opponent, starting with a three-run first inning.
After Bell drove home the first run with a single, infield errors by Matt Thaiss and Albert Pujols gift-wrapped two more runs while the Pirates batted around.
Newman led off the second with his seventh homer of the season, and the Pirates added two more runs in the third on Stallings’ double down the left field line. Stallings, a 29-year-old catcher with 16 career RBIs entering the game, matched his career high with three RBIs.
Suarez yielded seven hits and six runs over three innings in his third consecutive rough start.
Stassi, the veteran catcher recently acquired by the Angels from Houston, got his first RBI since May 8 with a long fly to center in the fourth.
Stallings homered in the fifth, and Reynolds and Bell both connected in the sixth. All three homers came off Jose Rodriguez, who came up from the minors to make his second appearance of the season for LA.
MITCH VS MIKE
Keller walked Mike Trout twice, but he also retired the Halos superstar on a fly to right in the third. That matchup was particularly enticing for Keller, who watched Trout in the minors in his native Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Pirates: Keller took the roster spot of RHP Richard Rodriguez, who went on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
Angels: RHP Justin Anderson went on the injured list with a strained back muscle. … SS Andrelton Simmons expects to return “soon” from a left ankle injury that has kept him out since Aug. 4. The Gold Glove winner missed nearly six weeks midway through the season with a different ankle injury. Simmons says the Angels are just being cautious this time with an apparently unrelated injury to the same ankle. … RHP Felix Pena, who combined with Taylor Cole on a no-hitter last month, will have his season-ending knee surgery Friday.
Halos rookie Griffin Canning (4-6, 4.76 ERA) will return from a brief stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation to face Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams (4-5, 5.06 ERA), a Southern California native facing the Angels for the first time.