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Albert Suarez enjoyed his first win in the major leagues

Albert Suarez (35-Baltimore Orioles), a Venezuelan right-hander who played for the Samsung Lions in the KBO in 2022-2023, enjoyed his first win in the major leagues in eight years. He became the first pitcher to return from a major league absence of more than five years and throw at least five innings in two consecutive games without allowing an earned run.

Suarez started the 2024 Major League Baseball World Series game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on March 23 and pitched 5⅔ innings of one-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts to lead the Orioles to a 4-2 victory.

In his first major league start in seven years, Suarez pitched 5⅔ innings of three-hit, one walk, four strikeout ball against the Minnesota Twins on April 18, but bullpen struggles cost him the win, his first of the season in two games. His 11 1/3 innings of scoreless relief lowered his ERA to 0.00.

It’s an emotional moment for Suarez, who hasn’t won a game in eight years.

It was his first major league win since June 24, 2016, against the Pittsburgh Pirates (5 innings, 3 runs, 2 earned runs) when he was a member of the San Francisco Giants. According to MLB.com, Suarez’s 2860 days was the second-longest gap between a start and his next start in the major leagues in the last 70 years. The longest was Travis Blackley, who took 2906 days between 2004 and 2012. Blackley, a left-hander, also played in the KBO, spending a year with the Kia Tigers in 2011.

Suarez also became the first pitcher since 1893, when the distance from home plate to the mound was adjusted to current standards, to throw five or more scoreless innings in two consecutive games upon returning from a five-year absence from the majors. It was a milestone in more ways than one.

After giving up a leadoff single to Mike Trout in the first inning, Suarez retired the next three batters he faced, except for a single to Logan Ohafi in the second. In the third, he gave up a leadoff single to Zack Neto and a sacrifice bunt, then struck out Trout with runners on first and second. Working a full count, 안전놀이터 추천 he induced Trout to swing wildly at a seven-pitch low changeup.

Suarez then got Taylor Ward to fly out to right field to end the third inning, the first of three straight outs in the fourth.

He struck out Miguel Sano and Mickey Moniak on consecutive swings with a four-seam fastball. After striking out Ohafi on a changeup in the fifth, Suarez gave up a double to left to Neto two batters later, but got Nolan Chanuel to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Suarez returned to the mound in the sixth and walked the leadoff man. However, Ward’s liner sailed into Suarez’s glove and he doubled to center field to end the inning. Suarez, who was then hit by a pitch to Sano, finished with 89 pitches. He used a changeup (22), cutter (14), and curve (3), centered around a four-seam fastball (50) that topped out at 96 mph (154.5 km/h) and averaged 94.2 mph (151.6 km/h).

Unlike last time,

This time the Baltimore bullpen preserved Suarez’s win. Mike Bauman gave up two runs in the seventh inning, but was relieved by Yoenis Cano (1⅔ innings). Jacob Webb (⅓ inning) and Craig Kimbrel (1 inning) combined for three scoreless innings to close out the 4-2 win. With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Kimbrel got Chanuel to fly out to shortstop and then got Trout to ground out to shortstop for his sixth save of the season without allowing an earned run. With its third straight win, Baltimore improved to 15-7 (.682 winning percentage) and moved into first place in the American League East. “It feels good to get the win,” Suarez said. It was a tough game, but I’m glad we won. This is why I’m here,” Suarez said afterward.

The Venezuelan native had a lengthy hiatus from the big leagues after going 8-3 with a 4.51 ERA, one save and one hold in 40 games (12 starts, 115⅔ innings) with San Francisco in 2016-2017, striking out 88 batters. After spending all of 2018 in Triple-A with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he moved to Japan in 2019. He spent three years with the Yakult Swallows until 2021, then spent two years in South Korea in a Samsung uniform from 2022 until last year.

In 2022,

He went 6-8 with a 2.49 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 30 games (173⅔ innings). He didn’t have much luck with the bat, but his steady pitching earned him a new contract. Last year, he went 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 19 games (108 innings), but suffered an injury while trying to stabilize. He was diagnosed with a left calf gastrocnemius strain while covering first base in the first inning against Daegu LG on Aug. 6 and was given a four-week rehab assignment before leaving Korea on waivers.

Suarez returned to the United States and signed a minor league contract with Baltimore on Sept. 16. He rehabbed and pitched well in the Venezuelan Winter League, and several KBO clubs were interested in him, but he stayed in the U.S. for the big league challenge. He made his presence felt with his strong stuff in exhibition games, and after his big league call-up, he pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings in two consecutive games to earn his first win in eight years.

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