Loewen makes Jays debut

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 PM ET

TORONTO - Move over Brett Lawrie, the true Canadian hero is here. Adam Loewen, of Surrey, B.C., made his major-league debut in right field Wednesday against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

Loewen, who never pitched above class-A, worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings as Canada scored an upset win over Team USA 8-6 in the inaugural World Baseball Classic before 16,993 at Chase Field in Phoenix. “The thing I remember,” said Red Sox left Eric Bedard of Navan, Ont., who started the opener against South Africa, “was the intensity. In March we’re used to spring games, that game had the intensity of the playoffs.” Loewen faced a Team USA lineup managed by Buck Martinez dotted with future Hall of Famers (four? five?). Loewen allowed three hits and walked three, facing Michael Young, Derek Jeter, Chase Utley, Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Vernon Wells and Jason Varitek. He left with a 5-0 lead in Canada’s greatest international win.

Loewen had not been in a major-league game since July 6, 2008, 1,151 days ago, pitching a scoreless inning for the O’s in an 11-10 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Lining up

With Loewen in right, Jose Bautista served as the DH, as Adam Lind was out of the lineup. Manager John Farrell told reporters that David Cooper, recalled from triple-A Vegas, would start at first Thursday ... Farrell said there had been discussions whether to allow lefty Luis Perez to make his next start or give Dustin McGowan the nod ... Farrell said McGowan, who has been pitching since December, would continue throwing his side sessions off flat ground rather than in the bullpen.

R.I.P. old pal

The Toronto baseball community will gather at Leaside United Church (822 Millwood Rd.) Saturday at 2 o’clock for a memorial service for the late Randy Echlin, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court. Echlin chaired the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee. He was a loving husband and father.


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