Burns makes big league debut

Burns makes big league debut

Burns makes big league debut
SAN DIEGO -- Though he'll have to wait a while for his second appearance after being sent back to Tucson Sunday morning, Padres reliever Cory Burns made a successful Major League debut Saturday in San Diego's 6-2 loss to the Mets.

Burns was called up prior to Friday's series opener and saw his first action Saturday, when manager Bud Black called on him in the fifth inning.

"My knees were a little shaky the first couple hitters, had a couple walks, but made some pitches," Burns said. "I felt good about my outing, felt good on the mound."

You really can't blame Burns for being a little weak in the knees. The first batter the 24-year-old faced in the big leagues was none other than Mets superstar David Wright.

"It was everything I could ask for," Burns said of having a player of Wright's caliber as his first Major League hitter. "It was kind of ironic when I got called up, [current Tucson Padres catcher Nick Hundley] came up to me and said, 'If you face David Wright, throw him changeups,' I ended up walking him, but made some good pitches."

Burns did well to mask his nerves. His composure, along with his changeup, made an impression on Black.

"When I handed him the ball, he had a good look in the eye. He looked composed," Black said. "We'll continue to monitor his work. There's a couple things he has to clean up, but ... his changeup is a pitch that I think can be successful in the Major Leagues."

Burns also got to bat in the game, marking not only his first big league plate appearance, but his first as a professional. Burns, in the midst of his fourth pro season, said he hadn't hit since 2005, when he was a member of the Glendale (Ariz.) High School team.

"It wasn't really nerve-wracking. ... We had a runner on second and I just wanted to put the ball in play," Burns said. "Wanted to try to make something happen, but the timing was a little off."

Burns found out Sunday morning that he was headed back to Triple-A. While he said he was surprised to be gone so soon, he understood the decision.

"The team needs some pitching," Burns said. "For the most part, I've thrown one inning all year, so when I go out and throw 40 pitches in two innings, it's a pretty easy decision for them."

Burns, though disappointed to hear the news and hopeful he'd be the one called upon the next time San Diego needs an arm, also said the experience is one he'll treasure.

"I was so happy to be here and proud to be a San Diego Padre that it's still running through me, it's an unbelievable feeling," Burns said. "I went to bed with a smile on my face."