July 26, 2009
Former Tennessee baseball All-America and National Pitcher of the Year Luke Hochevar (2004-05) struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven innings to help the Kansas City Royals end a 10-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers Saturday night.
Hochevar (6-3) had the second-most strikeouts in team history and was particularly effective against Texas' "big three," striking out Josh Hamilton, Andruw Jones and Hank Blalock a combined eight times.
Hochevar had the Rangers waving at pitches well out of the strike zone much of the night and matched his career high of nine strikeouts--set in his previous start--by the fifth. But the right-hander also had a couple of wild pitches in the dirt; one that scored Kinsler from third in the third inning, another that helped set up Nelson Cruz's RBI single in the fourth.
Hochevar, who still trains at UT in the off-season, struck out five more after that and left after allowing three runs--two earned--on five hits. He fell one K short of Mark Gubicza's team strikeout record and became the first Royals pitcher to have 13 strikeouts with no walks.
Hochevar's younger brother, Dylan, is a rising sophomore pitcher at UT.