But Pino was not the same pitcher as a starter Friday night in the Royals' 7-3 loss to the Red Sox.
Called up from Triple-A as an emergency starter for injured Yordano Ventura, Pino got walloped by the Red Sox for five runs in the second. Overall, he lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up 11 hits and six runs without recording a strikeout.
Royals manager Ned Yost was pleased that Pino at least got into the sixth inning to save his bullpen, but it is definitely questionable if Pino will get another shot at starting.
"We'll wait to make that decision," Yost said.
Pino dug the Royals a huge hole in the second inning when with one out, five straight hitters reached base -- four with hits.
"I missed a couple of pitches up in the zone," Pino said, "and then I had some ground balls that just found a hole. Nothing you can do about that. Then I just battled the whole game."
Pino knew what his job was and walked away knowing he at least fulfilled some of it -- getting past the fifth inning.
"I knew I had to get through the fifth or sixth inning [to help] the bullpen," he said. "I just missed some pitches.
"I missed, but I also made some good pitches. They had some balls that found some holes."
Pino said he felt better after that fateful second inning.
"You have to forget that inning, because you have that in your mind the next inning. ... You just have to forget," he said, "and you just keep working."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.