St. Paul's Steve Johnson Debuts With Orioles

Steve Johnson pitched two innings for the Orioles Sunday in his major league debut.

walked the first two batters and surrendered a long homer to Tigers all-star Miguel Cabrera.

But the alum had his friends and family in attendance beaming with pride after making his major league debut for the Orioles Sunday.

Johnson, 24, allowed one run—the Cabrera homer—and walked two, but he also struck out two on 47 pitches in the eighth and ninth innings of Sunday's 4-0 loss to Detroit

After walking the first two batters, the Tigers laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners, before Johnson struck out the last two to end the inning, walking off the field to an erruption from the crowd.

"That was pretty cool," Johnson told The Sun. "I'll remember that for a while."

Johnson's dad, former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, appeared throughout the broadcast as he beamed and looked nervous for his oldest child while sitting behind home plate.

"He said congrats. Probably will be a little hugging a little later, but he just shook my hand and said you pitched well," Johnson said.

In doing so, Johnson—following 21 years after his dad's last O's appearance—became the sixth son of an Oriole to suit up for the same club as his father.

The Johnsons join Bob and Terry Kennedy, Don and Damon Buford, John O'Donoghue Sr. and John O'Donoghue Jr., Dave and Derrick May and Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr.

After the game, though, the Orioles opted Johnson back to Class AAA Norfolk—making room for Monday's starter, Chris Tillman—as the club continues to shuffle pitchers on and off the 25-man roster.

With the Tides, Johnson is 3-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 15 games, including 10 starts. 

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school, and was acquired by the Orioles in July 30, 2009 along with third baseman Josh Bell, when Baltimore sent closer George Sherrill to Los Angeles.

It's been a wild month for Johnson. His appearance Sunday was just his second of the month—the other being July 8 with Norfolk. He was with the Orioles from July 2-3 while the club was in Seattle and in need of a reliever, but did not appear in a game.

Johnson, who grew up in Kingsville, likely will be on the short list of potential call-ups from the minors if the Orioles need some help in the bullpen in the second half.

"I love the fact that Stevie is ours in more ways than one," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the game. "You can imagine the emotion that he and his family had seeing him come to fruition out there and have some success doing it."


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