It was the most significant 0-for-2 in Ozzie Albies’ life.
The Braves’ prospect made his major league debut Tuesday, starting at second and batting seventh in the order in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It was fun,” Albies said. “I just had fun with it. Just the same game. I didn’t even realize we’re just playing baseball. It’s the same game.”
Albies went hitless, but drew a five-pitch walk in his final at-bat. His closest friend on the team, rookie infielder Johan Camargo, with whom Albies carpooled to SunTrust Park, blasted a two-run homer to bring him home.
“I started running and (third base coach) Ron Washington pointed at me that the ball was gone,” Albies said. “I was like ‘wow.’ It was fun, awesome.”
Albies grounded out on the second pitch he saw from Dodgers’ starter Kenta Maeda, an 84-mph changeup. He popped out to left on a 3-1 count in the fifth. Josh Ravin threw two pitches high and inside against Albies in the eighth, eventually walking him for his first on-base appearance, leading to his first career run.
Lucas Sims started the game, joining Albies to make two highly anticipated rookie debuts. The pair had spent the entire season together in Triple-A Gwinnett.
“It was cool,” Sims said. “There was a little sense of comfort looking back there and seeing a familiar face, a guy I’ve played with for a couple years now. Happy that I get to share the day with him.”
The youngest player in the majors at 20-years-young, Albies hit .285 in 97 games with Triple-A Gwinnett. He added 21 doubles, a league-leading eight triples and nine home runs.
“It’s exciting for all of us to see our young guys, and another one of our young guys got us right back in this ballgame with a two-run homer,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “So it’s good to see our players coming up here and doing well.”
Snitker confirmed before the game that Albies will play every day. Brandon Phillips could potentially shift to third base or be traded, while Freddie Freeman will permanently reassume his regular duties at first. Matt Adams, whose play prompted the Braves to experiment with Freeman at third, will spell him at first and play left field.
Albies is the youngest Brave to debut since Julio Teheran (20) in 2011. Utility man Wilson Betemit was the last Brave to appear earlier than Albies, taking the field at 19-years-old in 2001.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “Put a lot of good work in to be here today. Just balling out there, playing hard every day. That’s what I want to do.”
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