CLEVELAND — Former University of Kentucky pitcher Logan Darnell pitched three innings of perfect relief in his major-league debut with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night, a 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Darnell replaced starter Samuel Deduno (0-2) in the sixth inning and retired all nine batters he faced, striking out one.
Asked about touching 95 mph with his fastball, Darnell told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "That's a good question ... either the (radar) gun is juiced or I had a little adrenaline, either one."
Darnell normally pitches about 89-91 mph, but was consistently 92-94 in his debut.
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“Darnell was unbelievable,” Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Lights out.”
Darnell, a sixth-round pick by the Twins in the 2010 June Amateur Draft, admitted to feeling nervous but said, "Once I threw the first strike, I knew I was nice and relaxed after that."
Darnell had a 1.69 ERA in 211⁄3 innings at Triple-A Rochester before his call-up. He had a 3.22 ERA in the minor leagues last season.
The Pioneer Press reported that Darnell’s brother Landon and his buddy Paul Hogg drove from Nashville to Cleveland too see the game. But Darnell's parents, Rob and Caye Darnell, didn't make it because they were still vacationing in Pine Mountain, Ga., which was where they honeymooned.
“I don’t blame them,” Darnell said. “They never take vacation. They’ll be in Detroit" for the Twins' series against the Tigers this weekend.