Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

White Sox' Axelrod has memorable MLB defut

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Called up on Monday from the minor leagues, right-hander Dylan Axelrod made his major league debut on Wednesday night in the White Sox' 5-4 loss to the Twins.

Axelrod pitched two scoreless innings in relief of losing pitcher John Danks, striking out two and walking one to keep the Sox within striking distance of Minnesota.

"It was just great getting out there for the first time and getting my feet wet and I had a great time doing it," Axelrod said.

"The first inning I was a little juiced up and excited. The second inning I felt good, felt normal the second inning."

Bullpen coach Juan Nieves kept the advice simple before Axelrod took the ball: Throw strikes. And the 26-year-old did just that, hitting the zone on 22 of his 36 pitches.

"Treat it like a normal game,'' Axelrod said. "I went out and pounded the zone and that's about all I can do."

For AAA Charlotte and AA Birmingham, Axelrod was 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA this season. Baseball America rated him as possessing the best control in the Sox farm system.

"It was fun getting that first strikeout [called on Chris Parmelee],'' Axelrod said. "The first out, [shortstop] Alexei [Ramirez] made a great play on. And B-Mo [Brent Morel] making a diving play to end the inning, just all a lot of highlights for me."

Axelrod's uncle is sports agent Barry Axelrod, who has rooted his nephew on through trying times. The 26-year-old was released by the San Diego Padres organization and found himself pitching in an independent minor league.

"I was very surprised," Guillen said. "He threw strikes. If you throw strikes, you can pitch for me.''

"It's a great chance for him coming all the way from where he came from to be in the big leagues. It's a nice thing to see, and he had a good game."

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on September 7, 2011 11:16 PM.

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