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Paul Skenes No-Hits Cubs Through 6 Innings, Strikes Out 11 in Pirates’ 9-3 Win

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

Paul Skenes threw six no-hit innings and earned his first big-league win for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 9-3 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. 

Skenes’ second-career start was as dominant as it gets. The prized rookie struck out 11 batters and walked one. It’s the fourth time in MLB history that a rookie has gone at least six innings without allowing a hit and striking out 10 or more in a start.

Skenes (1-0) struck out the first seven batters he faced to start the ballgame, which is two shy of tying the MLB record. He became the first Pirates’ pitcher since at least 1974 to strike out that many batters consecutively to start a game. Skenes retired the first 13 batters before issuing a walk to Michael Busch. 

The big right-hander became the fifth Pirates’ rookie pitcher with 10-plus strikeouts within his first two starts. Fellow rookie Jared Jones did so earlier this season. 

Poetically, Skenes’ final pitch was his 100th offering. He blew a 100 mph fastball past Mike Tauchman for strike three. Skenes became the first Pirates’ pitcher to strike out 11 at Wrigley Field in the 1,017th matchup between the two sides in the Windy City. 

The Cubs (25-21) ended the Pirates’ combined no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh inning. Christopher Morel singled to right off of Carmen Mlodzinski, who was making his 2024 debut.

Chicago scored their first run on Miguel Amaya’s solo shot in the eighth against Mlodzinski. Morel plated a pair with a two-run double later in the inning. 

Jared Triolo got the Pirates (21-25) on the board in the third inning with a two-run home run to left field. It was his first home run since the home opener on Apr. 5 against the Orioles.

The Pirates scored three more times the following inning, starting with a Yasmani Grandal base hit to left field. Triolo then drove in Grandal with a single to center field and Rowdy Tellez came around to score on a throwing error from Cubs center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong. 

Three more runs came in to score in the fifth. Nick Gonzales plated one with a sacrifice fly and Grandal drove in two more with a single to right field.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (0-4) allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in 4.2 innings pitched. 

Andrew McCutchen provided the Pirates’ with even more insurance on his sixth home run of the season – a solo shot in the eighth against Mark Leiter Jr. Friday marked the seventh-straight game in which the Pirates have hit at least one home run.

The Pirates outhit the Cubs 15-4.

Up Next

The Pirates and Cubs will continue their four-game series on Saturday afternoon. It’ll be a battle of left-handers as Bailey Falter (2-2, 4.15 ERA) will matchup against rookie Shota Imanaga (5-0, 0.96 ERA). First pitch: 2:20 ET.

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