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Welcome to the Show, Kid. Tucker hits game-winning homer in MLB debut

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Tucker made his MLB debut a day to remember, crushing a game-winning homer in a rain shortened contest Saturday, with the Pirates beating the Giants 3-1.

Before Saturday’s game, Cole Tucker said that if he could tell the second grade version of himself what was happening, “he’d freak out.” Tucker- the Pirates’ number five prospect according to MLB Pipeline- was going to make his major league debut.

Even if he was able to talk to his younger self, second grade Tucker may be skeptical that he would hit a game-winning home run in his first game.

“I just wanted to come in and help us win,” Tucker said. “To actually kind of do that, that was really special to me. Couldn’t have drawn it up any better.”

After Steven Duggar tied the game on at one with a base hit in the top of the fifth, Tucker came to bat with Pablo Reyes on second and two outs. He had to step out of the box the pitch before because of lightning in the distance, but he responded by providing some electricity of his own, launching a 431 foot home run into the shrubbery in center field.

“I hope there’s lightning tomorrow,” Tucker joked.

After crossing home and shooting the “I love you” hand sign to his parents in the crowd, he was called out for a curtain call.

“I might never do that again in my life, but to say that I did that, and for my family to be here to see that, and to introduce myself to this city and this club in that, is, like, storybook,” Tucker said.

His home run came at just the right time. The tarp came on after the inning and never came back off, ending the game after five innings.

Reynolds, Too

Also getting in on the action was center fielder Bryan Reynolds, who went 1-2 in his major league debut. Reynolds was originally drafted by the Giants and came over to Pittsburgh in the Andrew McCutchen deal.

“That’s pretty funny,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t realize that until I was packing up last night and somebody told me. That’s pretty funny.”

Jamo Gets In The Win Column

Jameson Taillon (1-2) tossed an abbreviated complete game, allowing four singles and a walk. He struck out three.

Taillon has done his best work at PNC Park lately. Dating back to 2018, he has been charged with just four earned runs in his last five home games (30 IP, 1.20 ERA).

On Deck

The Pirates will go for the sweep Sunday at 1:35 p.m.. Chris Archer (1-0, 2.00) will return from his suspension to face Dereck Rodriguez (2-2, 3.63).


1. Tucker is the first Pirate to homer in his major league debut since Starling Marte on July 26, 2012.

2. Reynolds’ hit had an exit velocity of 107.3 MPH.

3. Tucker said he had 510 unread text messages after the game. “It’s going to be a long night. I’m trying to get back to everyone.”