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Pirates Takeaways: Oneil Cruz Showcases Sky-High Potential (+)

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PITTSBURGH — Oneil Cruz’s first extended chance in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates hasn’t gone as smoothly as the rookie shortstop had hoped.

For much of the season, Cruz has hovered around the Mendoza Line and struck out at a high rate.

However, over his last handful of games, Cruz is starting to look more comfortable at the plate. That was on full display in Tuesday’s 8-2 win over the New York Mets at PNC Park.

The 23-year-old homered and fell a triple shy of the cycle in the win, giving him the first three-hit game of his brief career.

All three hits were the result of hard-hit balls. His first-inning single registered a 110.9 mph exit velocity. His double in the fifth came off the bat at 115.2 mph, and his eight-inning home run checked in at 113.4 mph.

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