OAKLAND -- Just three months after being signed from the Mexican League, Hector Velazquez made his MLB debut on Thursday night for the Red Sox.
Once Velazquez got on the mound at the Coliseum, the A's were rude hosts. The right-hander gave up a trio of homers, including back-to-back blasts in the first inning, as Boston suffered a 8-3 loss to open the four-game set.
"I felt good," Velazquez said through team translator Daveson Perez. "Out of the gate, I felt a little bit emotional, just with it being my first big league game. My adrenaline was a little up there, and getting it under control was hard. Unfortunately, I had a bad inning, but I felt good."
Oakland jumped all over Velazquez in the first frame. Jed Lowrie followed up a Matt Joyce walk by hitting a two-run homer to dead center. Then A's slugger Khris Davis delivered a solo shot four pitches later.
The A's tacked on three more in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run blast by Chad Pinder.
A day after Red Sox manager John Farrell used his entire bullpen in a 13-inning contest, Velazquez did well to complete five innings. But the silver lining stopped there. In all, he allowed six earned runs on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
"I thought there might be a little better command in the strike zone," Farrell said. "He's a guy that we felt like, with a very efficient and pretty basic delivery, would be able to repeat a release point. There were some pitches that stayed up middle of the plate that they made him pay for."
The 28-year-old went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in five starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, but that success didn't translate to his first big league outing. Farrell said it was too early to say whether Velazquez will make another start, saying the club wants to wait to see how lefty David Price gets through Friday's rehab assignment for Pawtucket.
"With Monday's off-day, we've got some flexibility in the rotation," Farrell said.
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Red Sox on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.