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Worst debut ever?

Dustin Fowler hurts knee in first game

Associated Press Published: July 6, 2017 4:00 AM
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NEW YORK -- Dustin Fowler remembers adrenaline surging through his veins when he took the field last week for his major league debut. And then before he even stepped into a big league batter's box, the 22-year-old crumpled to the field with a season-ending knee injury after crashing into a low wall while chasing a foul ball.

"Just couldn't believe what was going on," he said Wednesday, hobbling into a Yankee Stadium news conference on crutches.

An 18th-round draft pick in 2013 from West Laurens High School in Dexter, Georgia, the outfielder climbed through the Yankees' minor league system and earned his first call-up last Thursday because of New York's mushrooming injuries.

Fowler ran at full speed into a wall in the right-field corner at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field chasing Jose Abreu's two-out foul. He ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee when it hit a metal box used for Wi-Fi, and he was carted off for immediate surgery to repair the damage and close an open wound.

VERLANDER CALM IN FACE OF SPECULATION

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DETROIT -- Justin Verlander is a rarity in baseball these days -- a veteran in his 13th season who has played for only one franchise.

His future in Detroit, once so secure, has become increasingly uncertain.

"Even though I think of this organization as family, you always know that there is that underlying business tone," Verlander said. "This isn't just kind of happy go lucky. This is an organization that needs to be run."

With the Tigers languishing below .500, the next few weeks could be a tumultuous stretch in Detroit. The team was already planning to cut payroll before next season, and if the Tigers don't show some real signs of contending soon, the pressure will be on general manager Al Avila to trade some of his biggest stars and get something in return. That could even include Verlander, the 34-year-old former MVP who has helped Detroit win four AL Central titles and two pennants.

"Obviously, where there's smoke, there's fire," Verlander said before Wednesday night's game against San Francisco. "It's not completely out of the realm of possibility."

Verlander made his debut for the Tigers in 2005, and there aren't many other active players who have been around that long while spending their whole careers with one team. Joe Mauer is another -- he's been with Minnesota since 2004. Yadier Molina began his tenure with St. Louis in '04, as well.

JUDGE BLASTS NO. 29, TIES DIMAGGIO

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge tied Joe DiMaggio's New York Yankees record for home runs by a rookie -- before the All-Star break.

Judge hit a two-run drive into the Yankees' bullpen in right-center in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 7-6 loss to Toronto, his major league-leading 29th home run of the season.

"Any time you're in the sentence as someone like DiMaggio is pretty incredible," Judge said. "It's quite an honor."


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