Pittsburgh Pirates: Excellent Starting Pitching, Ke'Bryan Hayes Lead the Way to a Sweep of the Royals

Takeaways from Pittsburgh's trip to Kansas City to battle the Royals

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Strong starting pitching

Johan Oviedo started the first game of the series and turned in arguably the strongest start of the season from a Pirate pitcher. Oviedo allowed just two hits while pitching a complete game shutout, both the first complete game and shutout of his career.

Game two did not see a traditional starting pitcher. Colin Selby worked as an opener, striking a batter out while retiring all six he faced in 2 scoreless innings pitched. Luis Ortiz followed as the bulk man, allowing a run in 5 strong innings pitched in one of his best outings of the season.

Game three saw Andre Jackson take the ball and he continued to impress. Jackson struck out the first five batters he faced in 5.2 brilliant innings pitched. He allowed a run, via a Bobby Whitt Jr. solo home run, on two hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts.

Jackson now owns a 2.98 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched with the Pirates. With the Bucs in search of starting pitching help there is no reason for Jackson to be removed from the starting rotation. Jackson has earned his spot in the rotation for the rest of the season.

The old adage is that in baseball you're only as good as your next day's starting pitcher. In this series, the Pirates got excellent starting pitching. That will often lead to series victories, and against a team as bad as the Royals it helped spark a series sweep.

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