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Rodriguez throws perfect inning in MLB debut

KANSAS CITY -- It wasn't exactly an ideal spot for a young pitcher to make his Major League debut, but Royals right-hander Wilking Rodriguez came through it just fine.

He entered Tuesday night's game at St. Louis with the Cardinals ahead, 7-6, and worked a perfect seventh inning. He got three fly-ball outs, one on the infield and two in center field.

"I thought he threw the ball good," manager Ned Yost said. "He threw strikes, he wasn't intimidated. He came out and threw the ball good. Good sinking action on his fastball, threw a really good changeup that had a lot of drop to it."

Yost had to press Rodriguez, who had just been called up the day before, into action because he was running short of fresh arms in the bullpen. But he helped in what became an 8-7 victory.

Rodriguez, 24, grew up in the same area of Venezuela as catcher Salvador Perez and they played against each other.

"He was good, he had power even when he was young," Rodriguez said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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