Guido Knudson settles in after giving up HR

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — On the night veteran Randy Wolf started, making his 373rd career start, rookie Guido Knudson finished, making his major league debut.

Asked how his heart rate was when he walked out of the bullpen and onto the field in the ninth inning of the Tigers' 5-3 loss to the Rangers Saturday, Knudson said, "Extremely fast. It's still pumping pretty hard."

He struck out the first batter he faced, freezing Elvis Andrus with a 95 mph fastball. The second hitter, though, Rougned Odor, put his fastball into the Pepsi Porch, way beyond the right-field wall.

"He got his first strikeout and gave up his first home run," manager Brad Ausmus said. "So he got them both out of the way."

Knudson got Bobby Wilson to fly out and he fanned Ryan Strausborger to finish his inning.

"It's the first time I've seen him pitch," Ausmus said. "He looked pretty good. He had a pretty good slider, tough on righties because of the arm slot. He threw a change-up or two, but I didn't get a good look at that. His velocity was good.

"Odor hit a ball hard but other than that, it looks like he would be tough on right-handers."

Knudson said with his heart racing, he rushed his delivery on a few pitches, especially the one Odor hit. But he was able to slow himself down as the inning went on.

"Awesome feeling out there," he said. "Obviously I didn't want to give up the run. I wanted to give us a chance. You saw what happened in that inning (three-run home run by Ian Kinsler) — every run matters. It would have been nice to keep it where it was.

"But overall it was an incredible experience. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to pitch here and I look forward to helping us win games in the future."

Guido Knudson of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning.