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Pirates Preview: Paul Skenes Gets Series Finale Against Rays



Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates squeaked out a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at PNC Park on Saturday evening.

Rookie Jared Jones threw seven-strong innings for the Pirates (37-39) and Oneil Cruz launched a home run into the Allegheny River on a fly to even the series against the Rays (36-39) at one game apiece.

Paul Skenes will start for the Pirates in the rubber match at PNC Park as the Pirates seek their fifth-straight home series win.

First pitch is set for 1:35 ET and the game will be aired on SportsNet Pittsburgh.


A chance for some showers but the forecast shows cloudy skies with temperatures in the lower-80’s. Winds SW at 14 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Paul Skenes (4-0, 2.29 ERA)

Skenes improved to 4-0 after tossing six-strong innings against the Reds to start the home stand on Monday night.

Over his last two starts, Skenes has allowed one run across 12.1 innings pitched and has struck out 15 batters against just one walk.

Since making his debut on May 11 is sixth in the National League with a 2.29 ERA and is third in baseball with 12.13 strikeouts per nine innings.

This will be his first chance against the Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays Will Send Out RHP Aaron Civale (2-5, 5.42 ERA)

Civale was roughed up in his last start against the Twins at Target Field. Minnesota struck for four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings.

The right-hander has struggled his seasons and home runs have been a big reason why. Opponents have already hit 14 homers against him in 76.1 innings pitched.

Opponents are hitting the ball harder than ever before off of Civale and carry a .274 batting average.

Civale is 1-1 against the Pirates in his career and has a 5.40 ERA in three starts.

Rays Hitters vs. Skenes

  • N/A

Pirates Hitters vs. Civale

  • Edward Olivares: 3 for 14, one home run, one RBI, two RBIs
  • Yasmani Grandal: 1 for 11, one double, six strikeouts
  • Michael A. Taylor: 1 for 10, one walk, four strikeouts
  • Bryan Reynolds: 1 for 8, one home run, two RBIs, one strikeout
  • Rowdy Tellez: 3 for 5, one home run, two RBIs, one walk
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 3 for 3, two doubles
  • Jack Suwinski: 1 for 3, one double, one RBI, one strikeout


  • Oneil Cruz became the fifth Pirates player to reach the Allegheny River on a fly. He joins Daryle Ward, Pedro Alvarez, Garrett Jones and Josh Bell (twice).
  • Andrew McCutchen hit the 50th triple of his career on Saturday. It was his first since Apr. 7, 2021 when he was with the Phillies. He’s one of 12 players all-time with at least 2,000 hits, 300 home runs, 400 doubles, 50 triples and 200 steals.
  • Paul Skenes has not taken the loss in a start since May 25, 2023 while pitching at LSU.


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Jones Overcomes Early Wildness, Cruz Reaches River in Pirates’ Win Over Rays

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