OAKLAND — Jesús Luzardo made his anticipated first big league start Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, tossing five shutout innings with five strikeouts, throwing 76 pitches.
The A’s 22-year-old left-handed phenom dazzled with his high-90s tailing fastball and dizzying sinker. His changeup was particularly effective.
He left with the score tied 0-0. Yusmeiro Petit relieved and gave up a run in the top of the sixth.
Luzardo started strong, striking out Nick Solak and slugger Joey Gallo in the first and veteran Todd Frazier on three pitches, the third a devastating changeup, to start the second inning. He threw out Robinson Chirinos by a spike on a back foot hurl off a chopper, redeeming the two-error outing he had against the Colorado Rockies.
After a six up, six down start, Isiah Kiner-Falefa knocked Luzardo’s first hit allowed: single through the gap over second base. He’d give up just one more hit: a Todd Frazier double as a rebuttal for the three-pitch strikeout he endured in his first at bat.
His big league start was delayed slightly after he missed the first two weeks of summer camp after testing positive for the coronavirus in the first round if intake testing in July. But with teammate Mike Fiers, Luzardo was able to throw off a mound during quarantine in Florida.
That individual work sped up return back to the mound. Coaches said Luzardo would need to ramp up to three innings before considering how he’d slide into the rotation.
Luzardo made his first outing in the second game of the season. He went three innings and allowed one run. His second bullpen appearance was mired by a three earned run blemish. His efforts in line with his 2019 debut appearances out of the bullpen, in which he tallied a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings, not including three shutout, one-hit innings against the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL wild card game.
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Author: Shayna Rubin