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Pinto starts at catcher in Major League debut

Pinto starts at catcher in Major League debut

Pinto starts at catcher in Major League debut

ARLINGTON -- Catcher Josmil Pinto made his Major League debut against the Rangers on Sunday, catching right-hander Kevin Correia and batting eighth.

Pinto made his debut count, picking up his first Major League hit with an RBI double in the fifth inning and finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Pinto, 24, had an impressive year between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, hitting a combined .309/.400/.482 with 15 homers and 74 RBIs in 126 games.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Pinto still has some kinks to work out defensively, but that he wants to see what he can do in his first stint in the Majors.

"From what we saw in Spring Training, he handled everybody," Gardenhire said. "So it's fun. It's his first Major League ballgame. So it doesn't get any better than that."

Pinto, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, said he is excited about the chance to see more playing time with the Twins this September.

"I'm thrilled," Pinto said through translator and Twins first baseman Chris Colabello. "I'm looking forward to being able to help the team any way I can."

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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