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Skenes Strikeouts Counter Skyrockets in Indians' One-Run Victory

April 18, 2024 - International League (IL)
Indianapolis Indians News Release


INDIANAPOLIS - Minor League Baseball's No. 3 prospect Paul Skenes matched his career-high in strikeouts as the Indianapolis Indians defeated the St. Paul Saints in a nailbiter on Thursday evening at Victory Field, 6-5.

In his highly anticipated fourth Triple-A start after fanning 19 through his first three, Skenes worked another masterpiece with 3.1 innings of one-hit baseball and eight punchouts. The right-hander had everything working, with his fastball reaching triple-digits on 34 of 65 total pitches. Skenes' four-seamer topped out at a season-high 102.1 mph.

The Indians (9-9) jumped out to an early lead to back Skenes in the first inning and never trailed, scoring four runs before the Saints could get on the board. Leading off the game for Indy, Nick Gonzales drew a five-pitch walk to extend his league-leading on-base streak to a career-high 17 games dating back to March 29. With runners on the corners, Gonzales was driven in when DaShawn Keirsey Jr. robbed Jake Lamb of extra bases with a leaping catch against the center field wall.

The offense picked up again in the fourth with back-to-back doubles by Liover Peguero and Malcom Nuñez. One frame later, a run-scoring groundout by Yasmani Grandal and RBI single by Lamb plated an additional pair, extending the lead to 4-0.

St. Paul (7-10) broke up a one-hit shutout bid by Indians pitching in the seventh with an RBI bases-loaded infield single to Matt Wallner. J.C. Flowers (W, 2-2) then entered the game with two outs and struck out Yunior Severino swinging as the go-ahead run at home plate.

The Indians offense wasn't done in the eighth inning, with Nuñez and Celestino each driving in insurance runs that would prove useful come the ninth. With Brent Honeywell on the mound and the bases loaded, the first out of the frame was recorded on a sacrifice fly. Wallner then stepped to the plate and continued to do damage, launching a three-run homer to tighten the score to 6-5. Honeywell closed the game by freezing Tony Kemp on a called third strike.

Joe Gunkel (L, 0-2) got the start for St. Paul and gave up two runs in 4.0 innings as Skenes, Fineas Del Bonta-Smith and Kyle Nicolas combined to hold the Saints offense scoreless.

The Indians and Saints continue the six-game series on Friday at 7:05 PM ET. Pitching for St. Paul is RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (0-1, 7.56), the Minnesota Twins No. 24 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Indianapolis has yet to name a starter.


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