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Pressly doesn't disappoint in big league debut

Pressly doesn't disappoint in big league debut

BALTIMORE -- With closer Glen Perkins warming up to protect a one-run lead against the Tigers on Thursday, rookie reliever Ryan Pressly figured he'd have to wait at least one more day before making his Major League debut.

When the Twins scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a six-run lead, Pressly got called upon to pitch the ninth inning.

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"The phone rang and I knew it meant only one thing was going to happen," Pressly said. "So [bullpen coach] Bobby [Cuellar] told me I was going in and needed to get ready in a hurry, but I was ready. I had plenty of time to get ready."

Pressly didn't disappoint in his debut, as he tossed a scoreless inning to close out the game and even struck out former Twins center fielder Torii Hunter.

"It was pretty fun," Pressly said. "I've been waiting a long time for that."

Pressly, who was selected from Boston in the Rule 5 Draft during the Winter Meetings, must stay with the Twins all season or be offered back to the Red Sox. Minnesota wanted to wait for the perfect situation to bring in Pressly for his first game considering he had only reached Double-A before this season.

"We wanted to find the right situation with a big lead," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We didn't have much pitching out there, so we were able to score some runs and avoid having Perk go in. So we got him his opportunity and he threw good."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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