Rodriguez has a debut to remember

August 15th, 2017

ARLINGTON -- Whenever a young player makes his Major League debut, there's always a chance the first-game jitters could get to him and make it memorable for all the wrong reasons.

But if there were any such nerves for , he certainly didn't show it. The 24-year-old righty, who had his contract purchased from Double-A Frisco last week, threw a 12-pitch perfect inning in Monday's 6-2 win over the Tigers in his debut performance, striking out and Alex Presley and inducing a lineout from .

Rodriguez became the first Texas reliever to retire all three batters faced with at least two strikeouts in a debut since on Aug. 31, 2005.

"What an impressive debut for a young guy," manager Jeff Banister said. "A great inning, very calm, didn't look like a young guy in his first Major League game. He pounded the strike zone."

In 35 relief appearances with Frisco and high Class A Down East this season, Rodriguez went 5-1 with 17 saves and a 1.34 ERA, and he averaged 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents batted .149 against him.

For one night at least, Major Leaguers are batting .000 against Rodriguez, who has overcome a long journey filled with injuries and setbacks -- including Tommy John surgery -- to reach the ultimate goal.

"Really, I only expected to throw strikes," Rodriguez said. "I tried to attack the zone and get people out. That's what I expected of myself. The two strikeouts, that's good, but I'm only trying to attack the zone."