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Cardinals' Rookie Daniel Poncedeleon Dazzles In Major League Debut 14 Months After Lifesaving Head Surgery

CINCINNATI (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Monday was a night to remember for one Saint Louis pitcher.

Cardinals righty Daniel Poncedeleon made his Major League debut just 14 months following lifesaving brain surgery after being hit in the head with a comeback line drive. The rookie hurled seven no-hit innings against the Cincinnati Reds.

He was taken out of the game by interim-manager Mike Shildt, a decision Poncedeleon says he supports.

"There's a little bit inside me that wanted to stay in the game but I fully understand the situation," the 26-year-old prospect said. "I was 116 pitches in, my at bat was up and I'm not very good at the plate so I couldn't have helped us there."

After all was said and done, the Reds wound up topping the Cards thanks to a rally sparked by third baseman Eugenio Suarez. Before the game, Poncedeleon prayed for calmness before his debut, went to the bullpen to warm up and hurt his neck on one pitch.

"I tweaked my neck in the bullpen and had a hard time looking toward home plate," he said. "I was a little nervous then."

The neck was fine once the game began. Poncedeleon joined the Dodgers' Ross Stripling as the only major leaguers to throw at least seven no-hit innings in their debuts since 1908.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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