MLB Baseball

West Point grad Rowley wins debut with Jays

Chris Rowley, a former first lieutenant in the United States Army, pitched 5 1/3 innings to win his major league debut as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Saturday.

Rowley is the first graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, to reach the majors. He missed all of the 2014 and 2015 minor league seasons while on active service, including a stint in Bulgaria.

Rowley is the second player from West Point to reach the majors — outfielder Walt French played six seasons for the Philadelphia A’s in the 1920s, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The right-hander, who began the season at Double-A, allowed one run and five hits. He walked one and struck out three

The only run off Rowley came in the second inning, when Josh Bell hit a leadoff triple and scored on a two-out hit by Jordy Mercer, who later had a solo homer in the ninth off of Leonel Campos.

Rowley left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 46,179 after giving up a one-out single and a walk in the sixth. Dominic Leone came on and retired the next two batters.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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