Skenes strikes out first seven Cubs, 11 overall

MLB

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CHICAGO — Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Paul Skenes already is making history just two starts into his first major league season.

On Friday, the rookie struck out the first seven Chicago Cubs hitters he faced during an electric outing at Wrigley Field, his first big league appearance on the road.

Skenes, 21, retired the first 13 batters overall before walking first baseman Michael Busch in the fifth inning. Busch was the only baserunner to reach off Skenes, who pitched six innings without giving up a hit on 100 pitches. He struck out 11 overall.

The seven strikeouts to begin a game set a record for a Pirates pitcher and were second most behind Jacob deGrom (eight straight batters in 2014) for the longest run by a rookie in MLB history. It also tied the fifth-longest streak to start a game in big league history.

Skenes’ 18 strikeouts through his first two outings — both against the Cubs — are tied with Nick Maddox (1907) for the most by a Pirates pitcher over his first two career starts.

Skenes threw 12 pitches at 100 mph or faster Friday, while sprinkling in his secondary pitches in a dominant performance. He became the fifth rookie pitcher since the mound was extended in 1893 to have 10 strikeouts and no hits allowed in a game.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.

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