Murata leaves positive impression despite tough debut

Murata leaves positive impression despite tough debut

BALTIMORE -- Toru Murata got through the Orioles' lineup fine the first time around in his Major League debut. The second time around, though, didn't go as smoothly.

After being called up as the Indians' 26th man for Sunday's doubleheader, Murata lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, five runs (three earned), one walk and two home runs while striking out two in an 8-0 loss.

"He got through it the first time with the error that led to the two runs, which is unfortunate," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But the second time through, once they had seen him, he left some balls up that hurt him."

Murata said that there were no nerves when he took the mound at Camden Yards, and it showed with a 1-2-3 inning in the first. The right-hander's perfect outing through five batters came undone in the second, when Jason Kipnis made a two-out error that aided in the Orioles' two-run inning.

The 30-year-old rookie mixed in a heavy dose of breaking pitches that fooled Baltimore hitters during the first trip through the lineup, but the Orioles were able to catch on in the fourth.

Chris Davis led off the inning with a long home run to right field, and Travis Snider followed with a solo shot of his own on a hanging breaking ball two batters later. Murata was pulled after walking J.J. Hardy.

Murata will most likely be sent back down to Triple-A Columbus, where he is 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA. The pitcher spent five years in the Cleveland organization for a chance to pitch in the Majors, and he left a favorable impression on his manager.

"I thought he had very good poise," Francona said. "I love the way he was out there enjoying competing, you could tell [when] somebody made a good play. All the things came as advertised. The teammate he is, things like that."

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.