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Edwards escapes jam in big league debut

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers called up pitcher Jon Edwards from Triple-A Round Rock on Friday, completing an impressive odyssey out of nearby Keller High School.

He ended up having a memorable Major League debut during the Rangers' 5-4 loss to the Angels.

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Edwards entered the game in the top of the eighth inning and the Rangers trailed 5-1. The first batter he faced was Albert Pujols.

"A lot of excitement … a lot of emotions," Edwards said. "I don't think it was nerves, mostly excitement. It was surreal to see Albert Pujols step in the box."

Edwards got Pujols to pop out on a full-count fastball. Josh Hamilton singled and Howie Kendrick walked, but Edwards struck out Erick Aybar on a knee-buckling 2-2 slider.

"He had some nerves working and at times he overthrew his fastball," manager Ron Washington said. "But he dropped that breaking ball in on Aybar … he's going to be OK."

Edwards was drafted in the 14th round of the 2006 First-Year Draft by the Cardinals as an outfielder. He spent five years in their system before being released at the end of the 2010 season. In 2011, he played for independent leagues in Pecos and San Angelo and gradually converted into a pitcher.

Rangers scout Bobby Crook signed him as a pitcher three years ago and he has slowly clawed his way through the system. He was 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 games at Round Rock, allowing 15 hits and nine walks with 26 strikeouts in 152/3 innings.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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