Christian Friedrich’s parents and two sisters showed up at Miller Park in Milwaukee to cheer on his first major league start in two seasons. So did some old coaches and other friends.
They watched Friedrich, a first-round pick in 2008 out of Eastern Kentucky, pitch six effective innings for the San Diego Padres in a hard-luck loss on Friday night.
He wiggled out of several jams after allowing four hits and walking six, but the Padres couldn’t solve Junior Guerra in losing 1-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I felt good, and they kept asking me how I was doing. I just kept confirming everything was good to go. ... Obviously, I’d like to get ahead of some guys and not give out as many free passes, but happy to work deeper into some pitch counts and grateful for the opportunity the gave me.”
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Friedrich (0-1) made his Padres debut after being promoted from Triple-A El Paso. It was his first big league start since 2014.
“A lot of family and friends. … It was a really neat experience,” said Friedrich, who was born in Evanston, Ill., about a 90-minute drive from Milwaukee.
The Friedrich fan club returned home after watching the left-hander lose his 11th straight decision, a streak that dates to 2012.
The Brewers scored on Chris Carter’s sacrifice fly in the first, snapping a 23-inning scoreless streak by Padres pitching.
Friedrich retired the side in order just once. But he escaped trouble after the first, stranding the bases loaded in the third.
“He had a little trouble settling in. I thought he did a lot better when he started spinning the baseball more,” said Padres Manager Andy Green, a former Lexington Christian and University of Kentucky star. “I think he was a little fastball dominant in the first inning. He gave us six strong innings today. We ran his pitch count way up. With a bullpen day (Saturday), sometimes you have to push your starter a little harder than you care to, but he stepped up and gave us everything we needed to win a baseball game. We just didn’t get it done offensively.”
Ex-Cards to majors
Yankees: Right-hander Chad Green, who pitched in college for Louisville, was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and added to New York’s bullpen before Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Green, who is making his first trip to the majors, was 2-3 with a 1.22 ERA in seven starts for the RailRiders.
Cardinals: St. Louis promoted left-hander Dean Kiekhefer from Triple-A Memphis on Friday. The reliever, who starred at Oldham County and Louisville, was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 13 1/3 innings in the minors. Kiekhefer, who hasn’t pitched in the majors, was 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA at Memphis last season.