So far, Travis Blackley has nerves of steel.
Blackley, who wasn’t notified about his major league debut Thursday until the night before, will try for another successful outcome when he takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners in the middle game of their series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 21-year-old Australian, who had won his last seven decisions at Triple-A Tacoma, received a call from Mariners manager Bob Melvin late Wednesday. The next day he was at Safeco Field on the mound against a powerful offensive team in the Texas Rangers.
Blackley rose to the challenge, allowing four runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings in an 8-4 win. The left-hander walked three and struck out four.
“Composure is one of his biggest attributes, not letting things bother him,” Melvin said. “He’s not a high velocity guy, but he’s a command guy who pitches to both sides and he’s not afraid to come inside.”
Blackley, who compares favorably in style and makeup to veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer, became the sixth Seattle pitcher to win his major league debut. The others were Joel Pineiro (2000), Freddy Garcia (1999), Bob Wolcott (1995), Mark Langston (1984) and Matt Young (1983).
“I can’t wait to get out there and pitch with my good stuff, just to see what I can do,” Blackley said. “I haven’t really had a game this season when everything was working.”
He’ll get another chance against the Blue Jays, who welcomed slugger Carlos Delgado back to the lineup in time for Tuesday’s 7-6 win.
Delgado, who missed 33 games because of a strained ribcage, went 1-for-3. Toronto went 13-20 while he was sidelined.
“It’s good to have him back, and it’s good to have him back in that spot of the order. Hopefully, he doesn’t try to do too much,” Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said. “It will take a little while for his timing to get back.”