First Major League Baseball win comes on a Saturday for Mississauga native


Published July 24, 2023 at 12:32 pm

VIDEO: Mississauga native poised to make Major League Baseball debut

It wasn’t a complete game, two-hit shutout, but Jordan Balazovic will take it, and cherish it.

The 24-year-old Mississauga native, selected by the Minnesota Twins in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft, earned his first Major League Baseball victory on Saturday night (July 22) in a 3-2 Twins’ win over the visiting Chicago White Sox.

The big-league win, which Balazovic picked up with one inning of shutout relief in which he threw only seven pitches and didn’t surrender a hit, comes after a roller coaster number of years for the St. Martin Secondary School grad in the Twins’ minor league system.

Balazovic, a starting pitcher throughout his minor league career, has pitched in relief for the Twins since making his MLB debut on June 18 in Minneapolis against the visiting Detroit Tigers. He’s pitched well so far, appearing in 10 games and tossing 13 innings with a stellar 1.38 ERA, surrendering 11 hits and striking out nine batters.

The Mississauga hurler seemed to take his first MLB win in stride, at least until the occasion was celebrated in the clubhouse afterwards on Saturday.

According to the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota, Balazovic was pretty cool about the accomplishment. It took a flood of incoming congratulatory messages on his phone after the game, and a beer shower from his teammates in the clubhouse, for it to all sink in.

It’s been a long time coming for the burly right-handed pitcher, who at times the past half dozen or so years has been regarded as among the Twins’ top handful of prospects and among the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.

Other times, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Balazovic has nearly fallen off the Twins’ prospect radar completely and it was no longer a done deal that he’d one day make the majors, let alone star at professional baseball’s highest level.

In short, Balazovic’s MLB debut was delayed the past couple of seasons by a combination of injuries and poor performance on the mound.

But he seems to have righted the ship, especially after a tough start to the 2023 season when he was temporarily shelved because of an off-field spring training altercation on Feb. 11 in Fort Myers, Florida that left him with a broken jaw.

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