Team Italy pitcher Jordan Romano makes perfect MLB debut for Toronto Blue Jays

With his parents and girlfriend watching inside Oriole Park at Camden Yard, Team Italy pitcher Jordan Romano made a sparkling MLB debut for the Toronto Blue Jays when he threw an easy 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles on June 12, 2019. Joining fellow Team Italy pitcher Sam Gaviglio in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen, Jordan Romano was called up from Triple-A affiliate Buffalo, where he made eight straight scoreless appearances in 10.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and two walks.

With a fastball clocking 99.1 miles per hour and a nasty slider stifling the three hitters he faced, the 6-foot-4 right-handed hurler was dominant in his MLB debut. On this magical night in the steady rain, Jordan Romano caught Baltimore's Pedro Severino looking on a slider and registered a swinging strikeout of Rio Ruiz on three straight pitches. Then Blue Jay third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. fielded a routine ground out from Oriole infielder Hanser Alberto to end the inning and preserve the Toronto 8-2 lead. Jordan Romano was all smiles in the dugout after his Blue Jay pitching premiere as he was met with congratulatory high-fives and hugs from his Toronto teammates.

Reminiscent to when he pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts for Team Italy to pick up the win against home team Mexico in front of a sold-out Estadio Charros de Jalisco in the World Baseball Classic on March 9, 2017, Jordan Romano was perfect in his MLB debut. It seemed unlikely that the Blue Jays 2014 10th-round draft pick would ever put on a Toronto uniform after being claimed in December’s Rule 5 draft by the Chicago White Sox then traded immediately to the Texas Rangers before being offered back to the Blue Jays when he did not make the club's 25-man opening day roster. With Toronto closer Ken Giles on the injured list with elbow inflammation, Jordan Romano now has the opportunity to audition for a permanent home in the Blue Jays bullpen. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen

by Roberto Angotti

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