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Yandy Díaz sparks offense as Rays earn 3-1 win over Skenes, Pirates

Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: June 22, 2024
Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: June 22, 2024 15:08

Yandy Díaz hit a home run off the first pitch from Paul Skenes on Sunday before leading off a two-run eighth inning with a single, sparking a 3-1 win for the Tampa Bay Rays over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Díaz opened the first inning by driving Skenes' near 100 mph first-pitch fastball off the right-field foul pole. He was 3-for-4 with two hits off Skenes, stretching his hit streak to 16 games.

Colin Holderman (3-1) replaced Skenes for the eighth, giving up the single to Díaz followed by another from Josh Lowe. José Caballero, running for Díaz, scored on Randy Arozarena's sacrifice fly to put the Rays ahead 2-1 before Richie Palacios added another run with an RBI single.

Kevin Kelly (2-0) got the final two outs of the seventh for the Rays, who took two of three from the Pirates. Pete Fairbanks retired the side in order with one strikeout in the ninth inning for his 11th save.

Skenes, a 22-year-old right-hander drafted first overall by Pittsburgh in 2023, struck out eight and allowed one run and six hits with one walk in a season-high seven innings. He has 61 strikeouts in his first eight appearances in the majors, the seventh most since at least 1901 and the most since Masahiro Tanaka (66) in 2014.

The rookie retired the final 11 batters he faced to stay 4-0 and lower his ERA to 2.14. Skenes has thrown 70 pitches of at least 100.0 mph this season. No other starter has more than 36.

Bryan Reynolds' infield single in the bottom of the first extended his hit streak to a career-best 20 games, the longest active in the majors. He then sent Aaron Civale's curveball 360 feet over the wall in right, tying it 1-1 in the fourth with his 12th homer this season.

Civale went five innings for Tampa Bay, giving up one run and three hits.


Rays: Infielder Amed Rosario was not in the lineup after being hit by a 100 mph fastball from Pirates starter Jared Jones in the first inning Saturday.

Pirates: Right-hander David Bednar, a two-time All-Star closer, was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 20, with a strained left oblique muscle.


Rays: Right-hander Taj Bradley (2-4, 4.06 ERA) will take the mound to start a three-game home series against the Mariners on Monday. Right-hander Bryan Woo (3-1, 1.67) is expected to go for Seattle.

Pirates: Left-hander Bailey Falter (3-5, 3.74) is in line to start Monday, the first of a three-game series at Cincinnati. Right-hander Carson Spiers (0-1, 3.20) will start for the Reds.



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