DURHAM, NC – Former Kansas City T-Bones left-hander Kris Johnson (pictured) may have taken a loss in his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, but that should not subtract from his performance. Johnson entered in the top of the 11th of a tie game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and stayed in for six strong innings.
In his first big league inning, the southpaw allowed a single, but faced the minimum three batters after inducing an inning-ending double play. That composure continued, as Johnson struck out five over six innings. He only allowed five hits and walked two, but ultimately took the loss after a 16th-inning two-run double by Adam Eaton gave Arizona the lead.
Johnson pitched for the T-Bones in 2011 after spending parts of six seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization. Boston had drafted Johnson with the 40th overall selection in the 2006 draft. In his lone independent season, the lefty went 6-3 with a 3.23 ERA, earning himself a shot with Pittsburgh last year.
The Pirates sent Johnson to Double-A, but he quickly ascended to Triple-A after posting a 2.09 ERA in 15 outings in the Eastern League. Before being called up to Pittsburgh, the former T-Bone was 10-4 with Triple-A Indianapolis with a 2.41 ERA in 2013.