Jordan Luplow is officially in the big leagues.
Tbe Pittsburgh Pirates called-up the ex-Buchanan High/Fresno State standout before Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres.
More good news for Luplow: He started in right and batted seventh, even if his night didn’t have a fairytale ending.
Luplow popped out in his first at-bat and took a called strike three in the fourth, both against San Diego left-hander Travis Wood. In his final at-bat in the seventh, Luplow was again caught looking, this time by right-hander Craig Stammen.
The Padres defeated the Pirates 3-2.
Baseball being baseball, he gets an immediate shot at redemption Saturday as the three-game series continues at 5:40 p.m.
“I set out for a goal this season,” Luplow was quoted on the team website. “Sometimes you don’t reach your goals, but this was one of my goals coming into the season.”
His uniform number: 47. He wore No. 4 and No. 27 with the Bulldogs.
Luplow’s mom Rebecca and dad Mark were on the field with Jordan during pregame workouts. Two aunts and an uncle also were to be part of the traveling party to Petco Park for the debut.
Fresno State coach Mike Batesole also was in the crowd. Buchanan High coach Tom Donald was planning to attend but was unable to make it Friday.
Pittsburgh is in need of a boost. After dropping 2 of 3 to the last-place Giants and with the loss to San Diego, the Pirates at 50-53 are at risk of falling out of playoff contention. As it is, they are 4.5 out in the NL Central and eight games back in the wild-card race.
Luplow, 23, was drafted in the third round of the 2014 Major League Draft after he was named Mountain West Player of the Year for the Bulldogs.
A former Bulldogs teammate who’s having a little bit of success as a big-league rookie offered some advice: New York Yankees All-Star and American League home-run leader Aaron Judge.
“It goes back to (improving my) approach, talking to different people, learning from guys,” Luplow said. “Judge, me and him talk a lot during the season. If I’m going through something, he’ll help me. I have a lot of other people I fall back on, but he’s been the big one for me this year.”
Luplow also shared how he reacted when told Wednesday that he would be headed to the majors. His grandparents were in town as he played for Triple-A Indianapolis and afterward he got a call from manager Andy Barkett. Luplow’s first thought: He’d been traded.
How long would his grandparents be sticking around, Barkett asked. Tuesday, Luplow told his skipper.
“They might need to grab a plane to San Diego,” Barkett replied, “because you’re going up to The Show.”