NEW YORK — Allowing a three-run home run in the top of the first, it's fair to say Michael King's outing against the Red Sox on Friday night didn't get off to the best start.
A few innings later, however, the right-hander made it clear that he had settled in just fine. In fact, he pitched his way into the history books.
King delivered an immaculate inning in the fourth frame, striking out Hunter Renfroe, Marwin Gonzalez and Christian Vazquez on nine pitches.
It's the seventh immaculate inning in Yankees franchise history and the first ever in a game between the Yankees and Red Sox.
King started the inning by getting Renfroe to swing through a two-strike sinker at the bottom of the zone. Next, Gonzalez whiffed on a perfectly placed breaking ball in on his hands. Vazquez ended the inning chasing another curveball, this one biting off the outside corner.
It's the first immaculate inning by a Yankees pitcher since reliever Dellin Betances was perfect for a frame against the Tigers in 2017.
After the game, King said he knew he was working with a potential immaculate inning as early as the first strikeout of the frame.
"Then once I got eight strikes in a row, and I was trying to throw a curveball away to Vasquez, I was like, 'I gotta try to execute this one to get it,'" King said.
The three-run blast with two outs in the first, off the bat of Rafael Devers, casts a shadow over King's performance, though. The right-hander limited the damage from there, finishing the day with four runs allowed on six hits with five strikeouts, but with no run support, King's immaculate inning ends up as nothing more than a footnote in a 5-2 loss.
"I'd rather win a game than throw an immaculate inning," King said.
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