Kendrick effective in big-league debut

Kendrick effective in big-league debut

PHILADELPHIA -- Kyle Kendrick gave Phillies manager Charlie Manuel exactly what he wanted.

The young right-hander, called up on Tuesday from Double-A Reading, pitched six innings on Wednesday and gave up three runs -- good enough to keep the Phillies in the game against the White Sox.

Kendrick may or may not become a permanent fixture in the Phillies' clubhouse; that was to be decided by Manuel later Wednesday. But all signs pointed to a successful debut for the 22-year-old.

"I'm not going to lie, it was hard," Kendrick said. "It's the big leagues. But again, it's my job.

It hasn't been his job for long.

Kendrick was a quick patch when Freddy Garcia was placed on the disabled list with an injured shoulder earlier in the week. He allowed a run in each of the first three innings, but then settled in.

"Six innings, three runs, I'll take it," said Phils catcher Rod Barajas. "I know we're going to score more than three almost every night."

Kendrick was 4-7 in 12 starts with Reading, but Manuel said he liked Kendrick's "stuff," which is the approval stamp of a Major League pitcher.

The consensus after the game was that Kendrick struggled early with his fastball, but exhibited good command otherwise.

"He's pretty steady since I've known him," said Phillies reliever Mike Zagurski, who was called up from Double-A earlier in the season. "He commands the fastball, throws the slider over for the strike and that's what you got today from him."

Kendrick retired three consecutive White Sox in the fourth and sixth innings. When Aaron Rowand came to the plate to pinch-hit for Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth, the crowd gave the young righty a warm ovation.

Among those in attendance were about 25 of Kendrick's friends and family members. His father was shown repeatedly on the television broadcast throughout the game, and could be seen cheering wildly for his son.

Kendrick made the feel-good story better in the second inning, when he got a hit in his first Major League at-bat.

"I broke my bat on it, too," said Kendrick of his bloop single. "I'll take a hit, though."

Kendrick's Major League numbers: six innings, three runs, four strikeouts, two walks and a 4.50 ERA. And looking for a second start.

Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.