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Skenes vs. Ohtani duel steals show, but Pirates beat Dodgers

PITTSBURGH -- Paul Skenes struck out eight over five innings, Aroldis Chapman threw the fastest pitch in the majors this season and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-6 on Wednesday night.

Skenes (3-0) allowed three runs on six hits, including a two-run shot by Ohtani in the third. The 22-year-old rookie also struck out the Los Angeles superstar with a 100 mph fastball in the first inning, one of 28 pitches thrown by Skenes and Chapman that reached triple digits.

"His stuff that first at-bat was really good," Ohtani said of Skenes. "I couldn't put together good swings, but overall just really good stuff."

Skenes came out firing against the high-powered Dodgers. He struck out Mookie Betts and Ohtani to start the game, but Los Angeles eventually settled in and put steady pressure on the 6-foot-6 right-hander.

Ohtani took a 100 mph fastball and sent it into the Los Angeles bullpen beyond the center-field wall for his 15th homer of the year in the third. He became the first player this season to homer off Skenes' fastball, according to ESPN Stats & Information; the other two homers Skenes gave up this season were off his slider.

"I like to call that big on big because I obviously beat him a couple times earlier," Skenes said. "I think that was the right pitch to throw there, he's just a pretty darn good player. Stuff like that is going to happen."

Skenes needed 91 pitches to navigate five innings even after being staked to the early lead. He showed a bit of growth in the fifth. Andy Pages homered and Los Angeles then loaded the bases with two outs. Skenes stayed in and got Teoscar Hernandez to ground out to third to end the threat and escape with a 7-3 lead.

"Good composure," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "He's going to give up home runs, but when you have an error and you load the bases, and again, having to grind through this lineup, it's not easy. There's All-Stars throughout it. So very impressed with how composed he stayed."

Skenes threw 16 pitches of at least 100 mph, one shy of matching himself for the most in a game by a starting pitcher this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

But he wasn't the only one throwing serious heat at the Dodgers. Chapman, still throwing gas at 36, had five pitches of at least 103 mph during the seventh inning, including a 104 mph sinker to Hernandez that Hernandez managed to foul off.

"You used to know everybody that threw 100," Shelton said. "The game's changed, man. These guys are power arms. They're going at it. I think you saw a really good display of power arms today."

Nick Gonzales tied a career high with four RBIs for the Pirates. Edward Olivares and Ke'Bryan Hayes had two hits and drove in a run for Pittsburgh, which used a big second inning against James Paxton (5-1) to take control before holding on late.

Ohtani finished with two hits and Jason Heyward doubled three times, but Los Angeles lost for the 10th time in its past 15 games against Pittsburgh.

Paxton failed to get out of the second inning in his shortest start of the season. The Pirates touched him for seven runs (six earned) in the frame, highlighted by two-run singles by Gonzales and Bryan Reynolds. Paxton lasted just 1⅔ innings, while his ERA mushroomed from 3.29 to 4.19.

The teams traded runs in the late innings. Los Angeles' last best shot came in the eighth when Ohtani stepped to the plate to face Colin Holderman with two on and two out. Ohtani flew out to the warning track in right to end the inning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.