Kendry Flores made his High-A debut with the San Jose Giants on Friday night. Conveniently, two-time World Series champion and 2003 World Series MVP Josh Beckett made a rehab start with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on the same night. Even more convenient, Dodgers 17-year-old phenom Julio Urias was scheduled to pitch the game's remaining innings once Beckett reached his pitch allotment. Heck of a way to start a long season.
So when Flores didn't allow a hit to the Quakes until a bunt single to begin the sixth inning, while Beckett was busy giving up back-to-back dingers to minor leaguers before recording an out, all was well.
Known for his precise control as a member of the Augusta GreenJackets in 2013, Flores displayed more of the same, allowing a single walk over seven two-hit innings. The 22-year-old struck out six, too, mixing in all five of his pitches, including a four-seam fastball that peaked at 95, an 82-mph changeup, and a sharp curve that sat in the high-70s.
Bravo, Kendry. Beating L.A. at this stage goes a long way in winning the hearts of Giants fans.
Bonus footage! Video of the aforementioned back-to-back home runs, which came off the bats of Elliott Blair and Mitch Delfino.