The left-hander was drafted by the Padres in the ninth round of last year’s draft and has moved into the starting rotation with the promotion of several pitchers to Lake Elsinore. Keel’s game is about pounding the zone with his sinkerball and two-seam fastballs to induce weak contact.
After a few rough starts after moving from the bullpen to the rotation, Keel has his second straight strong outing going six innings and only giving up a single earned run.
“I think its about pitching to his strengths,” said TinCaps’s manager Anthony Contreras after the game. “In some of his early starts he was trying to hit too many corners as opposed to throwing it in the strike zone and letting his ball run.”
The only offense Fort Wayne generated was Belen’s lead off triple in the top of the seventh, which just missed going out of the park. Belen, as with his teammate shortstop Ruddy Giron, have struggled this year, but both are very young - Belen is only 20 - and each have shown glimpses of what they are capable of doing along with the growing pains. Belen’s error on a routine ground ball allowed Dayton the insurance run they needed in the sixth inning.
Fort Wayne had a chance for a second straight walk-off win with runners on first and third and one out in the ninth inning. However a Brad Zunica strikeout and Jonatan Pena, who had a streak of four straight home runs earlier in the week, hit the ball hard, but unfortunately was straight at the Dayton left fielder.
The series concludes tomorrow night.