Left-handed pitcher Zach Kroenke won his first major league start in his third major league appearance, giving up only two hits and one run in five innings. He struck out two, walked one and left with a 7-1 lead. A reliever most often in his minor league career, Kroenke pitched from the stretch the entire game.
"I've been doing that for a couple of years. Why mess with it?" said Kroenke, who stepped in for RHP Daniel Hudson (right middle finger tendon). "Getting your first win in the big leagues is pretty cool."
Even though Kroenke has been a reliever for most of his career, he has three
quality pitches in a fastball, slider, and splitter, which makes him a viable
option as a starting pitcher. Moreover, Kroenke went 5-1 with a 1.43 ERA
in nine Triple-A starts this season but just 2-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 53.1 relief
Catcher Konrad Schmidt singled to center field on the first pitch he saw in the
second inning of Kroenke's win for his first major-league hit. It was his first
career start, his third game after two pinch-hit appearances, including one in
which he was announced but then replaced after a pitching change. He
walked his first time at the dish.
"I was nervous, no doubt about it, but I was actually kind of surprised with how
focused I was," Schmidt told FutureBacks.
Both rookies followed a recent tradition of D-back players excelling in their
major league debuts. Gerardo Parra and John Hester each homered in their
first big league at-bat last year, while Rusty Ryal singled in his. This
season, right-handed starters Cesar Valdez and Barry Enright each won their
major league debuts.
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