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Pirates Preview: Another Start for Top Prospect Paul Skenes

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Paul Skenes

The Pittsburgh Pirates won a 5-4 contest against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night in the opening game of the series.

Jared Jones turned in another quality start and Edward Olivares and Nick Gonzales homered for the Pirates (20-25) in the win.

Paul Skenes will make his second-career start agaisnt the Cubs (25-20) when the two sides meet again on Friday afternoon in the Windy City.

Friday’s first pitch is set for 2:20 ET and the game will be broadcast on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Weather

Sunny skies with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. Winds ENE at 8-9 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Paul Skenes (0-0, 6.75 ERA)

Skenes’ second start will be against the same team he made his debut against.

On Saturday at PNC Park, the rookie right-hander was charged with three runs in four-plus innings and struck out seven Cubs’ batters.

Skenes, the game’s top pitching prospect, posted a 0.99 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 27.1 innings across seven starts with Triple-A Indianapolis.

While he’s facing the same opponent, this will be the first road start for Skenes in the big leagues.

The Chicago Cubs Will Send Out RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-3, 10.04 ERA)

Hendricks made his return from the injured list to start against the Pirates at PNC Park on Sunday.

In the Cubs’ extra-innings win in the series finale, Hendricks held the Pirates to one run on a pair of hits with four walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

In his first five starts to begin the year prior to his last one, the right-hander carried a 12.00 ERA and had allowed at least four runs in all five starts.

The 11-year veteran is 9-13 with a 3.54 ERA in 30 starts against the Pirates in his career.

Cubs Hitters vs. Skenes

  • Seiya Suzuki: 1 for 3, two strikeouts
  • Mike Tauchman: 1 for 3, one double, one strikeout
  • Miles Mastrobuoni: 2 for 2
  • Nico Hoerner: 1 for 1, one home run, one RBI

Pirates Hitters vs. Hendricks

  • Andrew McCutchen: 10 for 43, two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, three walks, nine strikeouts
  • Bryan Reynolds: 6 for 33, one double, one triple, one home run, two RBIs, one walk, five strikeouts
  • Yasmani Grandal: 3 for 19, one double, two RBIs, three walks, four strikeouts
  • Rowdy Tellez: 4 for 18, one double, one home run, two RBIs, six strikeouts
  • Connor Joe: 6 for 12, one double, one RBI, three walks, two strikeouts
  • Jack Suwinski: 2 for 9, two walks, two strikeouts
  • Michael A. Taylor: 1 for 5, one double
  • Alika Williams: 1 for 3, one double
  • Jared Triolo: 0 for 3, two walks, two strikeouts
  • Oneil Cruz: 1 for 2, one home run, one RBI

Tidbits

  • Jared Jones became the 15th player since 1900 to go five-plus innings and allow three runs or fewer in each of his first nine starts.
  • Jones has five games of seven-plus strikeouts and no walks through is first nine starts, which is an MLB record.
  • Paul Skenes’ seven strikeouts today were the second most by a Pirates’ starter 21 years old or younger in their MLB debut, behind only Nick Maddox who struck out 11 in his debut at age 20.

Links

Perrotto: Why Pirates Feel Paul Skenes Can Handle Great Expectations

Pirates Prospect Watch: P.J. Hilson Clubs Two Homers

Olivares, Gonzales Power Pirates to 5-4 Win Over Cubs

Pirates Trade Roansy Contreras to Angels

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