Tecumseh graduate Brubaker makes big-league debut

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, July 26, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, July 26, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

He pitches two scoreless innings for Pirates

J.T. Brubaker pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, becoming the first Clark County native to make his big-league debut since Adam Eaton in 2012.

The Pirates beat the Cardinals 5-1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to avoid a three-game sweep in the season-opening series.

Earlier this month, Pirates manager Derek Shelton told TribLive.com he was very happy with the way Brubaker was pitching.

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“He’s done a nice job,” Shelton said. “He threw the ball well again (July 12). He threw three innings. He was extremely efficient. He threw 32 pitches, put the ball on the ground.

“Last time he threw, I was able to sit behind the plate, and he executed some really good pitches inside to left-handers. (Sunday), it was just as sharp. It’s good to see that he continues to build up and he’s maintaining his sharpness.”

A 2012 Tecumseh graduate who pitched three seasons for the Akron Zips, Brubaker was on a path to the big leagues after posting an 8-4 record and 3.10 ERA with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians in 2018. Then a right forearm strain a year ago delayed his ascent.

Brubaker, 26, made four starts in April of 2019 for Indianapolis and then two rehab starts in June with the Class A West Virginia Black Bears. He worked out at the Pirates’ spring training facility for much of the spring and said in May he was 100 percent healthy and ready for whatever the Pirates needed this summer.

Last week, Brubaker, a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft, was named to the Pirates’ 30-man roster.