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" Was the welcome worth the wait? Mike Thompson made his major-league debut as starting pitcher for the Padres on Wednesday night against the Diamondbacks. Thompson had been one of only two pitchers to win at least 10 minor-league games in each of the past three seasons but never to have pitched in the majors. (The other, Tim Kester, is no longer in organized baseball.)
But what a treat awaited Thompson -- a nine-run first-inning outburst that made the Padres rookie the first starting pitcher in more than a century to be given a lead that large before taking the mound for his debut. In fact, the only other starting pitcher in MLB history staked to a lead of nine or more runs before throwing his first pitch was Bill Banks of the 1895 Boston Beaneaters (later known as the Braves). Boston scored 12 runs in the top of the first against the Senators in what would be the first and only victory of Banks' major league career.