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Rockies' Kahnle comes through in debut

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Tommy Kahnle made a memorable major league debut Thursday in the Colorado Rockies' 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Pitching within an hour of where he played his college ball, the Rockies reliever inherited trouble in the sixth inning and got out of it like a veteran ... and then got in more trouble of his own doing in the seventh.

Kahnle, a 24-year-old right-hander who pitched at Division II Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., was the New York Yankees' fifth-round pick in 2010. He joined the Rockies this season as a Rule 5 draft pick, becoming just the second player to make an Opening Day roster for Colorado in such a manner.

He was not used in Colorado's first three games but got the call in the sixth Thursday in an important situation. With a runner on third, one out, and the Rockies clinging to a 5-3 lead, Kahnle came in and struck out pinch hitter Reed Johnson swinging and got center fielder Christian Yelich to ground out, stranding the runner.

Kahnle got in trouble in the seventh when he issued a one-out walk to Giancarlo Stanton and allowed a run-scoring triple to right by Casey McGehee. However, Kahnle got out of the jam with a 5-4 lead when he got first baseman Garrett Jones and center field Marcell Ozuna both to pop out to shortstop.

With three Rockies relievers -- LaTroy Hawkins, Rex Brothers and Adam Ottavino -- unavailable because of their workload earlier in the week, Kahnle's performance was big.

"Ideally, I didn't want to bring him in (for his debut) in a spot so big," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "but he is a well-composed kid. He did a great job."
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