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Skenes Records 7 Strikeouts In Debut As Pirates Secure 10-9 Victory Over The Cubs With 5 Home Runs

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EIn his major league debut, Paul Skenes showcased his potential by striking out seven batters over four-plus innings, contributing to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 10-9 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Yasmani Grandal’s go-ahead three-run homer played a crucial role in securing the win.

As the top overall pick in the 2023 draft, Skenes demonstrated glimpses of why he is regarded as one of the most promising pitching prospects in recent memory. Despite facing challenges, such as allowing at least one runner in every inning and surrendering a solo homer to Nico Hoerner in the fourth, the 21-year-old pitcher exhibited his prowess by consistently reaching speeds of 100 mph on 17 of his 84 pitches.

While Skenes showed promise, he also faced some difficulties, including being pulled after allowing a pair of hits at the start of the fifth inning. He was charged with three runs on six hits, along with two walks and a hit batter.

Following Skenes’ departure, Pittsburgh’s bullpen struggled, allowing Chicago to score seven runs and take the lead, primarily through walks with the bases loaded. Despite this setback, the Pirates’ offense came alive, with Grandal’s homer serving as a pivotal moment in regaining the lead in the fifth inning.

Additional contributions from Connor Joe, Oneil Cruz, Andrew McCutchen, and Michael A. Taylor, who also homered, propelled the Pirates to victory, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Despite a late push from the Cubs, including a sacrifice fly by Michael Tauchman in the ninth inning, Pittsburgh’s David Bednar secured the win by inducing a flyout from Cody Bellinger with the tying run on third base, earning his seventh save of the season.

While Miles Mastrobuoni stood out with three hits for the Cubs, contributions from Tauchman and Seiya Suzuki were not enough to overcome the Pirates’ offensive barrage.

On the pitching side, Cubs starter Justin Steele struggled, allowing six runs on six hits over four innings, with Joe, Cruz, and Taylor contributing with homers that contributed to Pittsburgh’s early lead.

Though Skenes’ debut victory will have to wait for another day, his performance, alongside the resilience of the Pirates’ offense and bullpen, ensured an exciting and hard-fought victory for Pittsburgh.

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