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Cubs draw 6 bases-loaded walks in 5th vs. Pirates, most in 1 inning in 65 years

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Chicago Cubs drew six bases-loaded walks in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, the most by a major league team in a single inning in 65 years.

The last team to draw that many free passes with runners at every base in one inning was the Chicago White Sox, who had eight in the seventh inning on April 22, 1959, according to Major League Baseball.

The inning began with prized Pirates rookie Paul Skenes giving up two hits, ending his big league debut. The Cubs ended up needing three more pitchers to get through the frame — which included a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay.

Kyle Nicolas replaced Skenes, struck out two batters and hit Ian Happ with a pitch. Then it got much worse.

Nicolas threw 12 straight pitches outside the strike zone to Nico Hoerner, Michael Busch and Miles Mastrobuoni to bring in three runs.

Then Josh Fleming came in and walked Yan Gomes on five pitches before giving up an infield single to Mike Tauchman.

Fleming was pulled for Colin Holderman, who walked Seiya Suzuki on four pitches and Cody Bellinger on five to give Chicago, which trailed 6-1 entering the frame, an 8-6 lead. Holderman retired pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal on a liner to end the inning.

The Pirates threw 55 pitches in the inning — 20 for strikes. They retook the lead on Yasmani Grandal’s 3-run homer in the bottom half and held on to win 10-9.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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