On Saturday afternoon, in the first game of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, Royals rookie pitcher Luke Farrell made his major-league debut, in front of his dad, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.
John Farrell skipped Boston’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon to see his son make his first appearance for the Royals.
“He has not (seen me pitch) a whole lot since he got back in the big leagues,” Luke Farrell said. “It’s a rare day for sure, and it’s awesome he was able to come.”
Farrell, 26, admitted to looking for his dad in the stands, but said he failed to find him before throwing the first pitch.
The start did not go exactly as planned, however, as Farrell failed to make it through the third inning. He allowed seven hits and five runs over 2 2/3 innings while striking out two and walking three.
After a smooth first inning, Farrell loaded the bases in the top of the second. He proceeded to walk back-to-back hitters, giving the Twins an early 2-0 lead.
“In the second inning, I tried to pitch to the edge too much and got away from what I normally do, which is attack the zone as much as I can,” Farrell said.
After the Royals cut Minnesota’s lead in half in the bottom of the second, the game got away from Farrell in the third. Twins third baseman Miguel Sano led off the inning with his 19th home run of the season, and outfielder Max Kepler followed with a double.
“Looking at the game, Sano hit the ball hard off him for the home run, and Kepler hit one hard off the wall,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “But outside of that, there was not really a lot of hard contact on him.
“After I took him out, I talked to (Royals catcher) Salvy (Perez), and he was really impressed with (Luke’s) stuff, as was I.”
Farrell gave up two more singles, one to Jorge Polanco aanother to Byron Buxton before being pulled from the game in favor of Matt Strahm. Strahm allowed one of Farrell’s runners to score before limiting the damage.
“I thought (Luke) did fine,” Yost said. “It’s tough to have your major-league debut, because you’ve been waiting for it your whole life. But I thought he stood up well to it.”
As Farrell exited, Kansas City trailed 5-1, but the Royals took Farrell off the hook, coming back to beat the Twins 11-6.
Prior to his call-up, Farrell had a 7-3 record with a 3.83 ERA for AAA Omaha. He was named the Pacific Coast League’s pitcher of the week for June 19-25 after going 2-0, recording 18 strikeouts in just 14 innings.
For more on Farrell’s journey to the major leagues, read this story from spring training.