World Series

Rangers’ Jack Leiter strikes out first batter he faces but gets roughed up by Tigers in historic MLB debut

Rangers' Jack Leiter strikes out first batter he faces but gets roughed up by Tigers in historic MLB debut

It started so well for Jack Leiter and the Texas Rangers during their 9-7 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon.

Marcus Semien led off the game with a home run. That was followed by the 23-year-old Leiter, making his MLB debut, throwing three straight strikes in his first three pitches to get Riley Greene looking.

Wyatt Langford hit a run-scoring double, and Jonah Heim brought Langford home on a two-run blast for a 4-0 Rangers lead in the top of the second inning.

The Tigers answered back in the bottom of the second by roughing up the Rangers' rookie pitcher. Four hits, including Riley Greene's RBI triple, off Leiter scored four Detroit runs to tie the game.

Leiter rebounded in the next inning, needing only eight pitches for a three-up, three-down bottom of the third. The Rangers grabbed the lead back and went up 7-4 before the Tigers answered again.

In the bottom of the fourth, Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras misplayed a Kerry Carpenter fly ball with two outs and two runners on, scoring two runs and cutting the Texas lead to one. The very next batter, Spencer Torkelson, tied the game with an RBI double after Carpenter's triple.

That was Leiter's final batter of the day, as Rangers manager Bruce Bochy went to the bullpen, and José Ureña closed out the inning.

The final line for Leiter looked like this: 3 2/3 innings, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts over 85 pitches, 52 of which were strikes. According to Baseball Savant, his fastball averaged 95.9 mph.

It might not have gone the way he wanted it to, but Leiter's MLB debut still made history. It was the first time in baseball history that two brothers — in this case, Al and Mark Leiter — each had a son who played in The Show.

Leiter, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, is the son of former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, who was in attendance Thursday at Comerica Park. His uncle, Mark, pitched for eight teams over 11 seasons. Mark's son, Mark Jr., has been in the big leagues since 2017 and has made nine relief appearances for the Chicago Cubs this season.

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