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Romero makes big league debut for Mariners

Romero makes big league debut for Mariners

ANAHEIM -- Rookie right fielder Stefen Romero made his Major League debut on Tuesday night against the Angels as one of two Mariners in their first big league stints. Pitcher Roenis Elias is the other first-timer on the 25-man roster, but he'll have to wait until Thursday to make his first start against the A's in Oakland.

Romero, 25, said it was the thrill of a lifetime to be part of Monday's Opening Day ceremonies at Angel Stadium.

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"It was awesome," the Arizona native said prior to Tuesday's game. "Especially when they announced us. When they said, 'And your visitors, the Seattle Mariners,' and everybody was booing, I was like, 'Oh, OK. There you go.' Once they were calling their guys out, just the roar of the crowd and 40,000-plus people, it just kind of hits you right there. Especially being down on the field, everything comes toward you.

"That was a big moment, especially all the theatrical stuff, the fireworks, the fire coming out of the rocks. But after that, I was fine. I just wanted to soak it all in. I was getting ready in the sixth or seventh inning in case I needed to pinch-hit. I was ready. The nerves started to settle down. Tonight, I feel like I'll be a little nervous, but after that first pitch, that first fly ball, that first hit, then it'll just be normal after that."

Romero, a standout at Oregon State in 2009-10, said he found comfort in finding his parents, aunt and uncle and girlfriend in the sellout crowd of 44,152 on Opening Day.

"That kind of calmed me down a little because they were all at my Spring Training games," said Romero, who went 0-for-4 in the Mariners' 8-3 win over the Angels. "So to see them there gave me a sense of comfort."

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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