Josh Rogers' return to the big leagues was a memorable one.
The former New Albany High School star and University of Louisville standout, who is in his sixth season of playing professional baseball, called up by the Washington Nationals on Saturday morning.
Saturday night, Rogers was on the mound at Nationals Park for the second game of Washington's doubleheader against the New York Mets. It was the first Major League start for the 27-year-old since 2019, before he had his second Tommy John Surgery.
Thanks to his solid performance, the Nationals ended a seven-game losing streak while also halting the Mets' six-game winning streak.
In 5 2/3 innings, Rogers allowed three earned runs on four hits while walking three and striking out five.
Rogers also helped his own cause. In the fifth inning he got down a sacrifice bunt that moved Luis Garcia to third base. Garcia scored a short time later on Alcides Escobar's two-run homer.
"I had a ball," Rogers, who previously made eight appearances with the Baltimore Orioles, said afterward. "I had so much fun in the dugout and so much fun on the mound."
Rogers' performance comes just three months after his career appeared to be in jeopardy, following his release of the Norfolk Tides on June 1. Three days later, Rogers inked a minor-league deal with the Nats and was assigned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
In Rochester, Rogers thrived. He went 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 games, 13 of which he started. In 73 innings, he allowed 32 runs (30 earned) on 75 hits while walking 21 and striking out 49 before being called up by Washington on Saturday.
In nine career big league appearances, Rogers is now 2-3 with a 7.96 earned-run average. In 31 2/3 innings pitched, he has allowed 28 earned runs on 39 hits while walking 14 and striking out 16.