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Pirates Spring Game Recap: Paul Skenes Sizzles in Debut, Henry Davis Has Big Day



Pittsburgh Pirates, Henry Davis

Paul Skenes made his first-career Grapefruit League start for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their matchup with the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon in Sarasota.

The Pirates (1-5) ultimately fell to the Orioles (6-1) by a score of 9-8 after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth.

Skenes threw a spotless 1-2-3 first inning and topped out at 102 mph on the radar gun.

The right-hander faced 2022 top pick Jackson Holliday in his first at-bat. He induced a groundout to second base to retire the game’s top prospect. After Adley Rutshcman flew out to deep right, Heston Kjersatd popped out to left field. Skenes worked efficiently, needing only 10 pitches to record three outs.

Henry Davis opened the game’s scoring with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning off of Orioles starter Corbin Burnes.

After Kyle Stowers and Jorge Mateo hit back-to-back home runs off of Bailey Falter in the second inning, Ke’Bryan Hayes answered with a solo home run in the third — his second long ball in as many games played.

The following inning, Oneil Cruz drove in Nick Gonzales with a single to left field off of left-hander Danny Coulombe.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mateo connected on his second homer of the game, this one a two-run shot off of Colin Selby. Holliday tied the game 5-5 with a run-scoring triple.

A pair of prospects put the Pirates back on top the next inning. Jack Brannigan delivered an RBI single and Termarr Johnson continued his hitting ways and followed suit. Gilberto Celestino added run in the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice.

Connor Sadzeck blew the save by allowing four runs in the bottom of the ninth. Daniel Johnson delivered a walk-off single with one out.


  • Henry Davis finished the game 2 for 3 with his three-run homer and a single He’s hitting .364 (4 for 11) through the early portion of the spring.
  • Oneil Cruz collected his first two hits of the spring with a pair of singles. He also stole second base in the first inning — an encouraging sign after his injury.
  • Nick Gonzales went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored. Billy McKinney was on base in both of his plate appearances.
  • Relievers Carmen Mlodzinki and Ryan Borucki each made their spring debuts. Both pitchers tossed scoreless innings.
  • Bailey Falter worked two innings. He allowed two runs on a pair of solo homers. The Orioles tagged him for four hits and the left-hander struck out one.
  • Prospects Thomas Harrington and Anthony Solometo both threw scoreless innings and had a strikeout apiece.


The Pittsburgh Pirates return to LECOM Park on Friday where they will face the Tampa Bay Rays. Mitch Keller will make his second start of the spring after two scoreless innings agaisnt Baltimore on Sunday. He will be opposed by lefty Jacob Lopez. First pitch: 1:05 ET.

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