Earlier this month, Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit a baseball into the Allegheny River on the fly, a difficult feat. The blast came off of the Rangers’ Shelby Miller back on May 8 and was measured at 472 feet by Statcast.
Bell reached the Allegheny River on the fly again on Wednesday night, homering with the bases empty against the Rockies’ Jon Gray in the second inning. That cut the Pirates’ deficit to 3-1. According to the MLB Stats Twitter account, Bell is the first player to twice hit the Allegheny on the fly.
After the homer, Bell is hitting .329/.399/.700 with 15 dingers, 45 RBI, and 32 runs scored in 193 plate appearances on the season.
Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.
After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.
Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.
Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.