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Hip hip, Jorge! Right-hander wins MLB debut

Twins' No. 8 prospect goes five-plus innings in Game 2 win over Royals
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

KANSAS CITY -- With the Twins reeling, having lost five of six, including the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, it didn't look good when right-hander Felix Jorge served up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the first inning of his Major League debut.

But Jorge, brought up from Double-A Chattanooga in part because the Twins believed the 23-year-old was mentally mature enough to handle the outing, settled down from there, picking up his first Major League win with five-plus innings in a 10-5 victory over the Royals to split the doubleheader.

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KANSAS CITY -- With the Twins reeling, having lost five of six, including the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, it didn't look good when right-hander Felix Jorge served up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the first inning of his Major League debut.

But Jorge, brought up from Double-A Chattanooga in part because the Twins believed the 23-year-old was mentally mature enough to handle the outing, settled down from there, picking up his first Major League win with five-plus innings in a 10-5 victory over the Royals to split the doubleheader.

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Jorge, the Twins' No. 8 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was sent back to Double-A after allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts, but his start and demeanor impressed Twins manager Paul Molitor.

"I was proud of how he came back after giving up the home run," Molitor said. "It seemed like the poise factor was good. He threw strikes for the most part and got us in position to win the ballgame."

Video: MIN@KC: Jorge fans Merrifield for first career K

Jorge said he simply shook off the homer from Hosmer, and stuck to his gameplan with catcher Jason Castro. It was a big jump to go from the crowds in the Southern League to 32,448 fans at Kauffman Stadium, but he kept his focus on Castro to stay locked in.

"I tried to be normal and not do too much," Jorge said through a translator. "I didn't try to do anything different after the home run. I concentrated on just me and the catcher. I didn't look around."

Jorge, who has a 3.26 ERA at Double-A this season, said getting the win helps his confidence moving forward, because he knows his stuff plays in the big leagues. Jorge relied on his four-seam fastball, throwing it 41 times and maxing out at 92.4 mph while mixing in 19 changeups, 13 sliders and six curveballs.

"While you're down [in the Minors], you think it's different up here and you don't know how it'll be," Jorge said. "So it helps a lot. It's almost the same thing, but better talent."

Jorge was lifted in the sixth after giving up a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain, who later came around to score on a two-run homer from Jorge Soler. Molitor took him out after 85 pitches, as he felt he had enough in the bullpen to get the final 12 outs.

The Twins celebrated Jorge's first win with a special ceremony in the clubhouse after the game, and Molitor said even that didn't seem to affect the stoic Jorge.

"He didn't seem overly fazed by getting the first win, getting the first strikeout," Molitor said. "I told him he has to go to Double-A until he hears the phone ring, but he was just calm about the whole thing."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Felix Jorge