DENVER – After 101 starts in the minor leagues, it was expected that right-handed starting pitcher Yency Almonte would make his major league debut as a reliever when he was promoted from Albuquerque on Thursday.
Less than expected was Almonte’s first pitch to be in a big spot in the eighth inning with the tying run at the plate.
The 24-year-old stepped onto the mound at Coors Field with runners at the corners and the hot-hitting Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets at the plate. After a seven-pitch at-bat, Almonte induced a sacrifice fly and the first out of his major league career.
After starting the next hitter 2-0, Almonte battled back for two quick strikes and a ground ball, getting the inning-ending double-play to preserve the Rockies 5-3 lead.