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MESORACO WATCH

September 7, 2011

Cincinnati Reds' catcher Devin Mesoraco (left) and pitcher Dontrelle Willis have a discussion before Monday's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game was Mesoraco's first Major League start. (Photo submitted by Laura Mesoraco)

Punxsy native and Cincinnati Reds' catcher Devin Mesoraco is in the big leagues, now.

After being called up at the roster expansion Sept. 1, Mesoraco spent several days catching bullpen sessions and growing accustomed to the Reds' Major League system.

But over the past few days, Mesoraco has had his shot at taking live pitches and digging his feet into the batter's box for at-bats that count in the statistics column.

Mesoraco's official Major League debut came Saturday afternoon. He wasn't in the starting lineup, but he was called upon in the seventh inning to pinch hit.

And he came through with a big first hit.

On the first pitch he saw as a Major Leaguer, Mesoraco boomed a line drive to the base of the wall in left field and trotted into second for a double.

Doubles were Mesoraco's specialty this season with the Reds' AAA-affiliate Louis-ville Bats, where 36 of his 126 total hits were doubles — just four behind International League leader Russ Canzler.

With numbers like that, it is safe to assume his first Major League hit was one of many doubles to come.

As great as that pinch hit must have felt, Mesoraco was able to live out his childhood dream Monday when his name was penciled into the No. 7 spot on manager Dusty Baker's starting lineup card for the Reds.

AAA-teammate for much of the year, Dontrelle Willis, was the starting pitcher, and Mesoraco, though he went hitless, picked up another first on an RBI-groundout.

Unfortunately, the run Mesoraco drove in wasn't enough for the Reds, who fell to the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, in Mesoraco's debut.

Tuesday, he was right back in the lineup, going 1-for-5 before eventually being involved in a double-switch and exiting the game, which the Reds won 4-2 in extra innings.

Mesoraco was not in the starting lineup Wednesday.

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