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Skenes shines

Pirates prevail after rookie ace tosses six-plus shutout innings

AP photo Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes throws during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Connor Joe and Oneil Cruz drove in runs in the ninth inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Colin Holderman (2-0) gave up two hits but no runs in the eighth and David Bednar earned his 14th save by pitching the ninth despite giving up a first-pitch leadoff home run to Nolan Gorman.

Bednar has converted 13 straight save opportunities and his 75 saves are the seventh-most in team history.

Both starters were splendid and neither gave up a run.

Miles Mikolas threw 84 pitches and gave up one hit over seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Mikolas took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but lost it when Bryan Reynolds led off with a triple off the wall in dead center. Mikolas retired the first 16 batters he faced before walking Yasmani Grandal on a full count with one out in the sixth.

Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes pitched 6 1/3 innings and threw 103 pitches, 74 for strikes. He allowed five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

The Cardinals began the fifth with back-to-back singles by Nolan Arenado and Matt Carpenter. Skenes pitched out of the jam by striking out the next two batters before getting a groundout.

The top overall draft pick last season, Skenes, 22, has not given up more than three runs in any of his first six career starts.

Ryan Helsley (2-3) loaded the bases to start the ninth. Jack Suwinski drew a walk and Andrew McCutchen singled before Helsley walked Reynolds on four pitches. Joe grounded to shortstop but Suwinski scored. Cruz’s sacrifice fly drove in McCutchen.

TRANSACTIONS

Pirates: Claimed RHP Dennis Santana off waivers from the New York Yankees. LHP Jose Hernandez has been designated for assignment to make room for Santana on the 40-man roster. … recalled RHP Ryder Ryan from Triple-A Indianapolis.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: RHP Quinn Priester (right lat muscle) is responding well to treatments. He is currently asymptomatic and is resting before he resumes throwing.

Cardinals: INF/OF Tommy Edman (wrist surgery) took batting practice for the first time with the team before the game. … LHP Steven Matz was scheduled to make his second minor league rehab start Tuesday night with Double-A Springfield. He was expected to throw 40 pitches in the start. … RHP Giovanny Gallegos (right shoulder impingement) will follow Matz, throwing one full inning and starting a second for Springfield.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Bailey Falter (3-3, 3.69 ERA) allowed five runs in 4-plus innings and lost an 11-7 decision against the Dodgers last Thursday.

Cardinals: RHP Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.21 ERA) pitched his shortest outing of the season at 4 2/3 innings and issued a season-high four walks in a 3-2 home loss to Colorado.

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