MLB: Paul Skenes gets plenty of support as Pirates earn split against Tigers

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Paul Skenes struck out nine in six innings on his 22nd birthday as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the host Detroit Tigers, 10-2, in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Skenes (2-0) allowed two runs and three hits in his fourth major league start.

Andrew McCutchen blasted a three-run homer in the third inning on his 1,600th hit with the Pirates. McCutchen, who has played for five different teams in 16 years in the major leagues, also doubled and singled while driving in four runs.

Nick Gonzales added three hits, including a solo homer, and drove in two runs.

Tigers starter Keider Montero, making his major league debut, gave up four runs and five hits while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander had been pitching for Triple-A Toledo.

Matt Vierling hit his fourth homer in three games for Detroit.

Vierling smacked a three-run homer and drove in four runs in the opener, an 8-0 Tigers victory. Tarik Skubal and Mason Englert combined for the Tigers’ fourth shutout this season.

The Tigers scored a run in the second inning of Game 2. Mark Canha drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Colt Keith’s single. Akil Baddoo brought home Canha with a sacrifice fly.

Pittsburgh took the lead in the next inning on McCutchen’s eighth homer this season. Jared Triolo led off the inning with an infield single and Ji Hwan Bae followed with another hit. One out later, McCutchen launched a 2-2 offering from Montero over the left field wall.

Gonzales hit his third homer this season to lead off the fourth. He ripped an 0-1 curveball from Montero over the left-field wall.

Skenes had two strikeouts apiece in the first two innings and struck out the side in the fourth, relying as much on his splitter as his fastball.

Pittsburgh increased its lead to 5-1 in the sixth against Joey Wentz. Gonzales led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Triolo’s sacrifice fly.

Vierling’s homer came with two outs in the bottom of the inning.

The Pirates made it 7-2 in the seventh on Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly and Connor Joe’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder. McCutchen’s RBI single made it 8-2 in the eighth.

Pittsburgh tacked on two runs in the ninth when Oneil Cruz hit an RBI triple and then scored on Gonzales’ hit.

–Field Level Media

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