Farrell to make MLB debut in Game 1, Hammel to start nightcap

July 1, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's Luke Farrell and Minnesota's Felix Jorge will make their big-league debuts Saturday in a doubleheader.

Farrell, who is the son of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, will start the opener for Kansas City. Minnesota will counter with right-hander Jose Berrios.

Farrell went 7-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) for Triple-A Omaha.

"He's a guy that knows how to pitch," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's very smart. He commands three pitches. He's got a tremendous slider. And he's been on a real roll.

"He ended up this week being the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week. He's put up great numbers and is having a great year. We felt like this is the best option to pitch the big Game 1 of the doubleheader."

Farrell went 3-16 with a 5.69 ERA in his first two minor league seasons, but since the start of 2015 he is 21-9 with a 3.45 ERA. The Royals drafted him in the sixth round in 2013.

"It's a dream come true," Farrell said to be in the majors.


Berrios is 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA in nine starts. He lost his previous start, at Boston, allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings. He is 0-1 with a 7.90 ERA in three career starts against the Royals.

Jorge, who will be the Twins' 26th man for the doubleheader, brings in an 8-1 record with a 3.26 ERA from Double-A Chattanooga.

He has been compared with Ervin Santana, the Twins' starting pitcher Friday in an 8-1 loss to the Royals. Jorge was watching Santana closely.

"I'm going to try to get the most out of it and see how he attacks the hitters, what he does with the hitters, and try to put it into place when I get to start," Jorge said through an interpreter.

He said he didn't know "how to explain it or how to put it into words" how he pitches.

"That has always been my mechanics, slow and easy," he said.

Jorge walked 22 and struck out 61 in the Southern League.

"It doesn't make me feel good when I walk someone," he said. "And once you walk somebody, it makes me mad."

The Royals will start veteran right-hander Jason Hammel in the night game. He is 4-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 15 starts but went 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA in five June starts.

Hammel is 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA in nine career games, eight of them starts, against the Twins.

"This is a tough weekend," Yost said. "We've just got to get through this weekend, four games in a very short period of time. It can raise some havoc on the bullpen."

The teams will play four games in approximately 54 hours, concluding Sunday afternoon.

The Royals (39-39) are back to .500 and three games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians. The Twins are 40-38, two games in arrears of Cleveland.

"They've started off hot and they have maintained it," Yost said. "And it makes the division much more interesting."


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