Though Moran was not in the lineup for the night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Pirates manager Derek Shelton called on him to pinch hit. Moran struck out against closer Josh Hader to end Friday’s 7-4 loss.
“There’s a chance that (Moran) could be in the lineup at some point this weekend,” Shelton said before the game.
Philip Evans started at first base Friday after Shelton had deployed Erik Gonzalez at the position for Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The game in which Moran was hit by a 93-mph David Price sinker was Moran’s third back since spending four weeks on the injured list because of a left groin strain.
The Pirates’ usual cleanup hitter, Moran entered the weekend hitting .292/.353/.458 with four home runs in 35 games this season.
Options for Keller
“I think we will talk trough a variety of different things,” Shelton said Friday.
“It could be something creative. It could be something different.”
Shelton has previously downplayed any consideration to sending Keller to the minors or the bullpen. A day after Keller couldn’t get through four innings of a start for the sixth time in 12 starts this season, Shelton on Friday was presented with ideas such as “piggybacking” a Keller start with another pitcher (in effect, predetermining he won’t pitch more than 3-4 innings).
Shelton didn’t dismiss the idea. He also noted Keller was — in Keller’s words Thursday — “(ticked) off” about another poor outing.
“The fact that he’s frustrated, I appreciate that,” Shelton said. “He shouldn’t be happy with the fastball command or the situation that we’re running into. We will talk about it. It will be in a very direct and a very positive tone. The fact that he’s beating himself up, there’s no sense in continuing to beat him up. We have to be very honest with where he’s at and how he’s going about it.”
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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .