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Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Paul Skenes delivered the longest start of his professional career on Sunday, holding the Tampa Bay Rays to one run on six hits and a walk over seven innings (the Rays would go on to win 3-1). Skenes also struck out eight of the 27 batters he faced, but left with a tied game and earned no decision.

Skenes' final pitch of the afternoon, his 98th overall, by the way, clocked in at 102 mph. 

Skenes, 22, has had his workload conservatively managed by the Pirates since they drafted him No. 1 overall last summer. In seven Triple-A starts this season, he averaged just under four innings per pop. The Pirates have been more aggressive with him in the majors, and he came into Sunday's action having completed 39 innings in his first seven big-league starts. 

Skenes' eight strikeouts give him 61 at the big-league level. That's just three behind Nolan Ryan and a slew of other notable performers over their own first eight big-league appearances:

Additionally, Skenes is just the second pitcher since 1901 to record 60-plus strikeouts and fewer than 10 walks in their initial eight MLB appearances, according to Sarah Langs' research:

The National League Rookie of the Year Award race has been muddied a bit by recent developments. Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to miss some time because of a rotator cuff issue; meanwhile, Chicago Cubs righty Shota Imanaga has scuffled in each of his last two starts. It's impossible to know what the second half will bring, but it's possible that Skenes and Pirates teammate Jared Jones could continue to make their cases for more top-of-the-ballot consideration.

Skenes entered Sunday ranked sixth among NL rookie pitchers in FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement stat -- that despite having at least six fewer starts than anyone ahead of him.