Relief pitcher Austin Pruitt made his long awaited debut with his hometown Houston Astros this past Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.

Acquired in January 2020 on a trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, the College Park High School alum has been recovering from elbow surgery, which delayed his first appearance with the Astros almost a year and a half.

“It’s been a crazy long road,” Pruitt told the Houston Chronicle last week. “I feel kind of bad because the entire time I’ve been an Astro, I’ve been on the shelf. It’s super relieving. The road I took to get here is pretty amazing.”

Pruitt was activated off the 60-day injured list on Friday and threw two innings against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field Saturday evening. He allowed two hits, including a solo homer to Jake Burger, in a 10-1 loss for Houston.

Pruitt had surgery on a his right elbow last September and started making rehab appearances in the minor leagues starting in June. That included a stint with the Astros’ new Triple-A affiliate, the Sugar Land Skeeters prior to being activated.

“Those were some of the hardest 18 months I’ve ever had to go through during my baseball career,” Pruitt told the Houston Chronicle. “It was tough, man, but with the help of my family, training staff and teammates, it helped me continue to move forward.”

Prior to joining the Astros, Pruitt pitched parts of three seasons (2017-19) with Tampa Bay. He made 68 appearances (10 starts) with a 12-8 record and a 4.50 ERA. He also had five saves.

Pruitt graduated from College Park in 2008 and played for head coach Jason Washburn. He was honored by the school in 2018 when they retired his No. 1 Cavaliers jersey. Pruitt presented a game worn Rays jersey to the school to display in the trophy case.

MORE BASEBALL

Paul Goldschmidt (The Woodlands) carried a 15-game hitting streak into Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs. The St. Louis Cardinals first baseman has reached base safely in every game dating back to June 30. For the month of July, Goldschmidt is slashing .375/.453/.661 with an OPS of 1.114. He’s homered five times with 12 RBIs during the stretch.

Trevor Stephan (Magnolia West) pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout for Cleveland Monday evening as he made his first-ever appearance at Minute Maid Park against the Astros. Stephan made his major league debut in April out of the bullpen for Cleveland. He has pitched 34 innings this season, but has appeared just three times for five innings in the month of July heading into Wednesday night’s game with the Astros. Stephan’s ERA stands at 4.24 with 42 strikeouts to 18 walks.

Jordan Groshans (Magnolia) is slashing .288/.366/.454 in 43 games for the Toronto Blue Jays’ Double-A franchise, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Groshans, a first round pick of Toronto right out of high school in 2018, five homers and 27 RBIs. He’s also legged out 11 doubles and has scored 31 runs. Groshans has appeared in 28 games at shortstop and 11 at third base in Double-A.

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