Tepera has memorable Major League debut
With parents in attendance on Mother's Day, Blue Jays righty tosses two perfect innings
TORONTO -- Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera made sure that this will be a Mother's Day that his family never forgets, making his Major League debut with two perfect innings against the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.
In Toronto's 6-3 loss, Tepera didn't allow a hit and struck out one. It couldn't have come against better competition either, with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli among the hitters the right-hander retired.
The moment would have been special enough on its own, but it was made even better with both of his parents in attendance. They made the trip from Lake Jackson, Texas, on Friday after Tepera received word he had been called up from the Minors.
"My parents were both here," Tepera said with a big smile. "My sister came the first two games, she left actually today so she didn't get to see it. But it was a great Mother's Day gift. I just saw her, she was actually crying, tears of joy. It was cool to have both of them here, my mom and dad."
The Blue Jays have made a number of roster moves in the bullpen over the past couple of weeks, but Tepera has a chance to stick around for an extended period. He's coming off a strong run with Triple-A Buffalo, and the Blue Jays believe the addition of a cutter has made him a lot more effective against lefties.
Some of those assets were on display against Boston. He flashed a mid-90s fastball with upper-80s velocity on his slider, and it was enough to get six easy outs even though nerves had to have been a factor in his debut.
"I'm kind of at a loss for words, actually," said Tepera, who allowed one run over 15 2/3 innings with Buffalo before receiving the promotion. "It was unbelievable. I dreamed of this for a long time, ever since I was a little kid, and it was awesome.
"I felt more nervous in the bullpen leading up to going out there. Once I got out there, I just kept telling myself to throw strikes and I felt like I belonged there."