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Mixed emotions for LaFromboise in Anaheim debut

Mixed emotions for LaFromboise in Anaheim debut

Mixed emotions for LaFromboise in Anaheim debut

ANAHEIM -- For Bobby LaFromboise, the chance to pitch for the first time at Angel Stadium on Friday night was something of a mixed blessing.

The Mariners rookie reliever grew up 20 minutes away in Downey, Calif., attended numerous Angels games and even worked at the park doing security for a few games while he was attending Rio Hondo College.

So, yeah, it was a thrill when manager Eric Wedge beckoned him in the 10th inning Friday to face Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton with the game on the line, one out, two on in a 2-2 tie.

With about 50 friends and family looking on, LaFromboise broke Hamilton's bat with a fastball and induced a double-play ground ball to second to end the inning.

"That part," said LaFromboise, "was cool."

Not quite as cool was the next inning, when the 27-year-old lefty went back out with the score still tied at 2 and gave up a one-out single to Kole Calhoun and then a two-out, walk-off smash off the center-field wall by Chris Iannetta on a 2-2 slider.

"He'd seen five fastballs," LaFromboise said. "I threw it and it wasn't a great location and he made me pay for it."

So the 2008 eighth-round Draft pick endured his first big league loss in front of his home folks, but it was all a pretty good experience for a guy who was a late addition in September when the Mariners realized lefty Oliver Perez was wearing down and they needed another southpaw option.

LaFromboise has a 7.88 ERA in nine games with the Mariners over three separate stints this year. He admits his heart was pumping when he came in to face Hamilton with the game on the line, but he's loving this opportunity.

"I was a little excited, a little nervous," he said. "That was a big spot and situation. But I always want to get out there. I don't come here to sit on the bench. I just love to pitch. I want to go out there as much as possible."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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