BOSTON – Rob Rasmussen left Fenway Park on Tuesday night with a souvenir ball, an out recorded against David Ortiz in the books, and memories of a pretty cool big-league debut.
“I was fortunate enough that I got the call down, I knew I was going to face just Ortiz so I was kind of able to prepare properly for him, work on what I was going to throw him through the at-bat,” the 25-year-old lefty said after helping the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4. “Once you run in, it’s just back to playing baseball. Obviously going down 2-0 to a hitter like Ortiz wasn’t the ideal situation, but luckily I was able to battle back and get the out.”
Rasmussen, likely to be the odd man out if Liam Hendriks ends up filling the fifth starter’s vacancy as expected, came on with one out, no one on and a 7-4 lead in the seventh.
With his parents making the trip from California to watch, he opened the at-bat with two fastballs that missed, followed by a fastball, slider, and curveball, the last one rolled softly to first by Ortiz that Edwin Encarnacion fielded easily for the out.
Rasmussen’s mindset after falling behind?
“At that point in the game it’s just, ‘Hey, attack him here. See what he can do. We know what he can do, but challenge him and see what happens,’” he said. “This time it happened for me, which was nice.”
At 24-22, the Blue Jays are a half-game behind the 23-20 Baltimore Orioles for the Amercian League East lead. The New York Yankees are also a half-game back at 23-21, while the Red Sox (20-24) and Tampa Bay Rays (19-27) are slipping back from the pack.