O'Grady rewarded with win in MLB debut

July 9th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nearly every Miami player and coach had already migrated to the visitors' clubhouse at AT&T Park on Saturday -- except newcomer .

Mingling with friends and family near the Marlins' dugout, O'Grady was content after picking up a win in his Majors debut, Miami's 5-4 victory over the Giants. And inside the Miami clubhouse, some of his new teammates watched a live feed from the ballpark's center-field camera of his autograph line.

Then O'Grady's former teammate at George Mason, , departed to summon the 27-year-old.

"They said it was long enough," laughed O'Grady, who pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball Saturday. "Justin was getting a little antsy in here."

Added Bour: "It's pretty cool to have a former teammate from college here. And the fact that ... we got him that win, it's a very exciting time. I couldn't be prouder."

O'Grady started in place of Jeff Locke, whom the Marlins designated for assignment this week. The Marlins' bullpen preserved O'Grady's chance for a win with a gutsy effort, holding off the Giants' furious ninth-inning rally.

"That last inning, I think I was just as nervous as I was in the first inning -- just hoping we held on to that lead," O'Grady said. "It was really nice to come out with the win."

O'Grady allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the first and second before settling in. He retired All-Star after two walks for his inaugural Majors strikeout. A Giants double and single scored a run in the fourth.

"[O'Grady] stayed off the barrel of the bat. ... He had a nice little cutter and changeup," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He used both sides of the plate with them and then elevated the fastball."

O'Grady will likely hear from many former teammates in the coming days. But it was a text from pitching coach Scott Budner -- who helped O'Grady develop a changeup at Triple-A New Orleans -- that stood out. Budner assisted in O'Grady's ascent to the Majors when he took his call in May.

"We threw a couple really good ones out there and got some outs on it," O'Grady said of the changeup. "That was a useful pitch tonight. Bud actually texted me when I got in. The first thing I told him was, 'Got some big outs on the changeup tonight.' I owe him for that one."

Away from the mound, O'Grady's Saturday was just as eventful. A group of friends -- who will be groomsmen in his December wedding -- flew into town, surprising him at the hotel. And a family he knew from his Class A days in Southern California made the trip north.