Pirates fans waited longer than they expected to see Quinn Priester on a mound this season. His debut was worth it.
Priester opened his night by retiring the first three batters in order, all on groundouts, and needed just nine pitches to get through the first inning. After plunking Clearwater’s Leandro Pineda with one out in the second, the right-hander retired the next five he faced to close his day.
Out of his 37 pitches (20 strikes), Priester topped out at 96.6 mph with his four-seam fastball and primarily relied on that heater and his sinker, utilizing the latter for 30 percent of his pitches and throwing it for strikes 55 percent of the time.
The 18th overall pick in the 2019 Draft, Priester reached full-season ball for the first time last year and went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 20 starts for High-A Greensboro. The Illinois prep product struck out 98 batters in 97 2/3 innings, walking 39 and limiting opponents to a .225 batting average.
Priester looked ticketed for Double-A Altoona to start the year but was sidelined coming out of Spring Training with an oblique issue.
After the right-hander departed, three fellow Marauders carried the no-hit bid across the line. Lefty Anthony Solometo, the Pirates’ No. 8 prospect, earned the win by striking out three against two walks over four innings in his third appearance of the year. Like Priester, Solometo started the year on the injured list before making his debut in late May. In three outings, the southpaw has posted a 0.82 ERA, allowing one earned run over 11 innings with 10 strikeouts against four walks.
Left-hander Jake Sweeney worked around a walk with a strikeout in his lone hitless inning in the eighth, and righty Yunior Thibo picked up the save while finishing off the feat in the ninth.