PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jordan Wicks gave up two hits and struck out nine over five innings in his major league debut, and the Chicago Cubs held on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 on Saturday night.
Wicks (1-0), a 23-year-old left-hander selected No. 21 overall in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft, allowed one run and walked one.
Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the first and immediately hit a fastball from Wicks 384 feet to left for his 10th home run. Bryan Reynolds then singled to center before Andrew McCutchen walked. Wicks retired the following 15 batters, striking out the first five.
Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki each drove in three runs for Chicago, which has won two of three to start the four-game-series and remained four games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Adbert Alzolay came in with two outs in the ninth to strike out Reynolds for his 21st save.
After Colin Selby struck out three in two perfect innings, Pirates reliever Osvaldo Bido (2-5) started the third by walking in two runs, putting the Cubs ahead 2-1. Mike Tauchman then scored on Cody Bellinger’s grounder.
Happ made it 5-1 in the fifth with a two-run double past a diving Connor Joe at first base before coming around on Bellinger’s bloop single. Suzuki followed with an RBI triple to left-center, ending Bido’s outing. Jeimer Candelario capped the five-run inning, extending the lead to 8-1 with a single to left.
Pittsburgh answered with five in the seventh. Joe scored on Liover Peguero’s sacrifice fly before Alika Williams and Hayes each had an RBI single with two outs. Reynolds drove in two with a double into the corner in right.
Suzuki pushed Chicago’s lead out to 10-6 with his own two-run double in the ninth.
SKENES STRUGGLES IN DOUBLE-A DEBUT
Pirates pitching prospect Paul Skenes, drafted first overall in 2023, was pulled just two outs into his Double-A debut with Altoona. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed four runs to Akron on three hits and two walks in the first inning, striking out two on 33 pitches (16 strikes) with his fastball reaching 100 mph twice.
Cubs RHP Michael Fulmer was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Aug. 25, with a right forearm strain. Fulmer pitched Thursday, striking out one and walking one in the eighth inning of Chicago’s 5-4 series-opening win.
RHP Javier Assad (2-2, 3.13) will take the mound for the Cubs in the series finale Sunday against Pirates LHP Bailey Falter (1-7, 4.53).