Cary-Grove graduate Quinn Priester, making his second major league start, outdueled San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish to earn his first career win for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night at Petco Park in San Diego.
Priester, who lost his MLB debut against the Cleveland Guardians last week, delivered 5 1/3 strong innings in an 8-4 win for the Pirates.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander doubled his number of strikeouts from his debut with four, including whiffs of Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado. Priester allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. He threw 50 of 89 pitches for strikes.
Priester was backed by four home runs from his offense, including a pair by first baseman Carlos Santana. Darvish, who played for the Cubs from 2018 to 2020, allowed four homers and gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“It’s great to [get my first win] against a team like that,” Priester said in a story by Justice delos Santos on MLB.com. “A lot of really good players. It just goes to show me that I can compete.”
Priester shook off a leadoff home run to the Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim in the first and was later relieved by Mundelein native Ryan Borucki with one out in the sixth. The fourth run charged to Priester came after he left the game.
Borucki, Carmen Mlodzinski and Colin Holderman combined for the final 3 2/3 innings to finish off the win.
Priester allowed only two hits after the first inning. Kim homered for a second time against Priester with one out in the fifth inning, a two-run shot after Trent Grisham doubled.
Priester was the 2019 Northwest Herald Baseball Player of the Year, going 8-2 during his senior season with the Trojans with a 1.16 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. He was named the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year and also started on the Trojans’ 2018 Class 6A state champion in football.