Yukon's Justin James solid in MLB debut
Yukon native Justin James struck out the first big-league batter he faced, making his Major League debut for Oakland Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. He allowed a run on three hits, pitching the eighth inning of a 5-0 loss to the Yankees.
James struck out the Yankees’ Robinson Cano on three pitches to open the inning. He allowed three soft singles and a walk with a fielder’s choice in the middle before closing the inning by striking out Derek Jeter on an 88-mph breaking ball.
James is the older brother of Chad James, the Yukon left-hander who was the first-round pick of the Florida Marlins in 2009. Justin James was drafted in 2003 after his sophomore season at Missouri and worked his way up to Triple-A in the Toronto organization before getting traded to Cincinnati.
A shoulder injury landed him on an independent league team in Kansas City the last two years. He was signed by Oakland in June and sent to their Double-A team in Midland, Texas. By mid-July he was called up to Triple-A Sacramento and became the team’s closer in early August. He had four saves, a 1.37 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings there.
The A’s added him to the 40-man roster and called him up on Wednesday when teams were allowed to expand their active rosters beyond 25 players.
From the independent leagues to striking out Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium three months later… not a bad way to spend your summer.
– Scott Wright, email@example.com
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