KANSAS CITY — The one thing you can say about Royals rookie right-hander Carlos Hernandez, who made his first Major League start Saturday night, is that he didn’t back down to anyone.
Hernández pitched three innings and gave up three hits — all solo home runs — in the Royals’ 7-4 victory over the Pirates. Kansas City has won five straight games.
Two of the home runs off Hernández, the Royals’ No. 12 prospect per MLB Pipeline, came when he was behind in the count, the other with the count full.
Hernández challenged Josh Bell with a 2-0 sinker in the second. Bell belted an opposite-field homer.
Two batters later, Hernández ran the count full to Bryan Reynolds and tried to slip a curveball by him. The pitch hung middle-middle and Reynolds drilled it for a homer.
With two outs in the third, Hernández fell behind Adam Frazier 3-1. Frazier turned on a sinker up and in and hit it out.
But those were the only hits of the night off Hernández, who also didn’t walk anyone and struck out two.