Smith stays perfect in relief duties with Royals
Will Smith remained scoreless in his first two relief appearances in the major leagues, pitching 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run Thursday in a 3-1 loss at Minnesota.
The left-hander from Newnan struck out two and didn’t allow a hit or a walk against the Twins, lowering his season ERA to 5.40. He was called up from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday after recently switching roles from a starting pitcher to the bullpen.
Since returning to the Royals, Smith has held opponents without a run in his first 2 2/3 innings work. The one-time Northgate High ace, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Angels in 2007 before being traded to Kansas City in 2010, is making his fifth visit to the majors.
He was used as a starter during the 2012 season, finishing 6-9 in 16 starts with 59 strikeouts. Smith was called up twice in April for one-day appearances as part of baseball’s 26-man doubleheader roster rule, earning a start on April 23.
In his first seven relief appearances in the minor leagues, Smith allowed just one run in 10-plus innings pitched while 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA. He had also posted a 4-3 record and a 3.26 ERA in 10 starts at Omaha .
His first inning of relief in the majors came in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Braves.