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Pirates Unable To Capitalize on Skenes’ Strong Start, Fall to Braves in 10 Innings

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

A Paul Skenes and Max Fried pitchers’ duel gave way to a battle of the bullpens with the Atlanta Braves prevailing 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 10 innings on Saturday at Truist Park. 

Adam Duvall was first to the plate in the bottom of the 10th and delivered a walk-off base hit for the Braves (46-35) against right-hander Kyle Nicolas (0-2) after the Pirates (39-43) came up empty in the top of the inning.

Edward Olivares opened the top of the 10th on second base as the automatic runner and moved up to third base on a Nick Gonzales groundout. Olivares attempted to score from third on a wild pitch thrown by Daysbel Hernández (2-0) and was initially ruled safe but the call was overturned after the Braves challenged. 

Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out a pair of batters. In doing so, he passed Billy Wagner for the most strikeouts all-time by a left-handed relief pitcher with 1,197. 

For the second night in a row, it took Bryan Reynolds until his last at-bat to keep his hitting streak alive. After going hitless in his first four at-bats, Reynolds tripled off of Raisel Iglesias to extend his streak to 25 games but the Pirates were unable to bring him home. 

Skenes allowed a leadoff home run for the second-straight start but once again was able to find his groove.

Jarred Kelenic connected on a solo homer on a 1-1 pitch in the bottom of the first inning but the rookie right-hander prevented the Braves from scoring over the next five innings.

Skenes went six innings for the seventh time in the first nine starts of his career. He allowed six hits, walked a pair and struck out nine. He struck out the final four batters he faced. 

The Pirates drew even with the Braves at 1-1 on an Olivares sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. 

It was the only run the Pirates managed against Braves starter Max Fried, who matched Skenes by going six innings. Fried allowed six hits, walked three and punched out four.

Up Next

The Pirates and Braves will conclude their series early on Sunday. Bailey Falter (3-6, 4.00 ERA) will start for Pittsburgh opposite Spencer Schwellenbach (1-3, 5.40 ERA). First pitch: 11:35 ET.

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Jesse Gonder

What a waste of talent. It’s time for Skenes’ agent to inform team mismanagement that his client wants to play major league baseball and trade him to a contender as soon as possible if not earlier.

Last edited 12 days ago by Jesse Gonder

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