HOUSTON -- One day later, Josh Fields was still smiling.
Fields, acquired by the Astros in last year's Rule 5 Draft, made his Major League debut in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers, striking out Craig Gentry swinging to end the eighth inning after throwing three consecutive balls to start the at-bat.
"It was pretty awesome being out there," Fields said. "It was a dream come true stepping on that Major League baseball mound, and I just thank the Lord for the opportunity and being blessed with the talents and abilities he's blessed me with. Being part of this team is pretty awesome."
Fields was able to keep the ball he used to strike out Gentry and plans to present it to his father, David Fields, who was watching from his home in Athens, Ga.
"He's been with me the whole time through this whole thing, and I know words couldn't describe what he was feeling watching the game," Fields said.
Fields, a former first-round pick of the Mariners, had only pitched in 10 games above the Double-A level -- he threw 13 2/3 innings last year at Triple-A Pawtucket in the Boston organization -- prior to getting snagged by Houston.
"It worked out perfect and we were able to get him into a game where he wasn't coming in to clean up someone else's situation," manager Bo Porter said. "The bases were empty and there were two outs, and it was good for him, good for the ballclub and a good first outing. He was able to strike out the first guy he pitched to in the big leagues, which is really good."