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After finding entrance, Spruill solid in debut

After finding entrance, Spruill solid in debut

PHOENIX -- The same day he was promoted from Triple-A Reno, D-backs right-hander Zeke Spruill made his Major League debut Friday, working a clean sixth inning against the Reds.

"There was a whole mix of emotions," Spruill said. "Happy, excited, anxious and nervous a little. I didn't sleep the night before."

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The 23-year-old allowed a leadoff single to the first batter he faced but bounced back to retire the next three Reds to escape the inning.

"He threw well; he did a good job," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He kept his composure and threw his pitches well."

One of the three outs Spruill recorded came via a strikeout of Donald Lutz. The righty got his hands on the ball and will give it to his parents for them to keep. Most of his family lives in Washington D.C., so Spruill hopes he will still be with the D-backs when the club goes on the road to face the Nationals next week.

Drafted out of high school five years ago, Spruill navigated his way through all five levels of the Minor Leagues to finally get the call up to the Majors on Friday. But when he arrived at Chase Field for his first day in the big leagues, he had one more obstacle to overcome: finding the players' entrance.

"I knew where the stadium was, but I didn't know where the players' gate was," Spruill said. "So I just drove around in the taxi until I found it."

Spruill, acquired in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta, started the year in Double-A Mobile but was quickly promoted to Reno, where he went 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA in nine starts. Over his last two starts in Triple-A, though, he tossed 17 scoreless innings.

"Breaking balls have gotten a lot better this year than they have been in the past," said Spruill, who is ranked by MLB.com as the D-backs' No. 8 prospect. "I've been focusing on it rather than just going out there and throwing it. I'm using it with confidence."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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