By Tom Hurley | @TomHurley
Former UK pitcher Andrew Albers kept the Kansas City Royals scoreless in 8.1. innings of work on his Major League debut Tuesday for the Minnesota Twins.
Albers became the first pitcher to work eight scoreless innings on his big league debut since 2002 and the first Twin to do it since 1952.
“It was special — no question,” Albers said to MLB.com. “It’s hard to put into words, but it was special. To be able to go out and have that kind of performance in your debut, unfortunately it’s not going to get much better from there. So, I’m just going to enjoy this high and really enjoy tonight.”
Albers limited Royals batters to four singles and one walk in what was the longest start for a Twins pitcher in 2013.
At one point the ex-Cat retired 15 Kansas City batters in a row on the way to picking up his first major league win
“He was going with what was working tonight,” Twins catcher Chris Herrmann said to the Minnesota Star Tribune. “His fastball command was there, his cutter command was there, and we used a changeup here and there. But for the most part, we stuck to the fastball, inside. He pounded it inside. Albers doesn’t throw the hardest, but he hits his spots and has movement. When you’re throwing inside and it’s moving, it makes hitters uncomfortable.”
Home runs from Brian Dozier, Justin Morneau and Chris Colabello helped Minnesota to a 7-0 victory.
Kansas City had won 14 of 17 heading into Tuesday’s game at Kauffman Stadium.
Albers started 31 games in 81 total appearances for the Cats over four seasons before becoming a 10th round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2008 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound hurler sits seventh all-time in UK career wins with seven and fourth in saves with 12.