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Paul Skenes Continues to Dazzle But Pirates Fall 3-1 to Rays

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Paul Skenes tossed a career-high seven innings and Bryan Reynolds extended his hitting streak to 20 games but the Pittsburgh Pirates fell 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays at PNC Park in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.

Yandy Díaz homered on Skenes’ first pitch of the game but the rookie right-hander settled in and delivered another strong start for the Pirates (37-40).

The Díaz home run was the lone run allowed by Skenes across his seven innings pitched. He allowed six hits walked and struck out eight batters.

Skenes found himself in some trouble in the third inning when the Rays (38-40) loaded the bases with one out. The Pirates’ starter escaped the jam by getting Isaac Paredes to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

Through the first eight starts of his career, Skenes carries a sparkling 2.14 ERA. He has 61 strikeouts through his first eight appearances, the sixth-most all-time since 1901. 

Colin Holderman relieved Skenes in the eighth inning and uncharacteristically struggled. Holderman (3-1) allowed a pair of runs to score on three hits and a walk.

Randy Arozarena plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to deep center and Richie Palacios singled home another to pad the Rays’ lead. 

Reynolds’ 20-game hitting streak is the longest by a Pirates’ player since Nate McLouth from 2007-08.

Reynolds reached on an infield single in the first inning and hit his 12th home run of the season.  The solo blast in the fourth inning tied the game at 1-all. 

Outside of Reynolds, the rest of the Pirates’ lineup had one hit — an Edward Olivares single in the second inning.

Rays starter Aaron Civale held the Pirates to one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. Kevin (2-0) got the win for the Rays and Pete Fairbanks collected his 11th save. 

Up Next

The Pirates will hit the road for the start of a series against the Reds on Monday night. Left-hander Bailey Falter (3-5, 3.74 ERA) will start for the Bucs against right-hander Carson Spiers (0-1, 3.20 ERA). First pitch: 7:10 ET.

News and Notes

  • The Pirates placed closer David Bednar on the 15-day injured list with a strained left oblique (retro to June 20). Left-hander Justin Bruhil was recalled from Indianapolis.

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