Baseball / MLB

Murata makes MLB debut; Indians lose

Kyodo, AP

Toru Murata made his debut in the major leagues for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, pitching 3⅓ innings and allowing five runs, three earned, in an 8-0 loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

The right-hander retired the first five batters he faced but allowed a two-run single in the second inning and two solo home runs in the fourth .

“I put myself behind in the count and allowed hits from there. That’s what I have to work on, but I performed better than I expected,” said Murata, who was selected by the Yomiuri Giants in the first round of the Japanese draft in 2007, but never pitched for the top team in three years before being released.

After Ryan Flaherty’s two-run single in the second, Chris Davis slugged Murata’s cutter on a 1-3 count and Travis Snider homered a curveball on an 0-1 count.

The 30-year-old Murata joined Indians Single-A affiliate Kinston in 2011. He was called up to the first team to start the nightcap of a doubleheader and is set to return to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers after the game. He struck out two and allowed four hits in his first outing in the majors.

“I’ve longed for this chance, it’s been five years since I moved to America and it paid off,” he said. “I wanted to have a go at top-class batters with my pitch and I could throw my fastballs against big hitters.”

Boston’s Koji Uehara expressed his pleasure at seeing Murata, his junior at university and Yomiuri, making his debut in the big leagues.

“Regardless of the result, I hope he feels the joy of pitching here,” Uehara said.

In the afternoon game, Ubaldo Jimenez tossed eight crisp innings and Baltimore got home runs from Jimmy Paredes and Manny Machado in a 4-0 win.

Red Sox 5, Rays 3

In St. Petersburg, Florida, David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval and Alejandro De Aza homered to back the pitching of Justin Masterson.

Reliever Junichi Tazawa allowed a hit in 1⅔ innings before Koji Uehara took over in the ninth to save his 16th game of the season.

Tigers 5, White Sox 4

In Detroit, James McCann hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete a dramatic comeback.

Blue Jays 3, Rangers 2

In Toronto, Josh Donaldson hit his 18th home run and Drew Hutchison won his fifth straight decision.

Astros 3, Yankees 1

In Houston, rookie Carlos Correa doubled twice and scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning.

Royals 5, Athletics 3

In Oakland, Jeremy Guthrie struck out a season-high seven batters.

Angels 3, Mariners 2 (10)

In Anaheim, Kole Calhoun scored the winning run off a wild pitch by Tom Wilhelmsen in the 10th inning after Albert Pujols grounded into a bases-loaded double play against a five-man infield.