St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon (62) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, July 23, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

STL rookie throws 7 hitless in debut year after head injury

July 23, 2018 - 9:19 pm

CINCINNATI (AP) — St. Louis right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon has thrown seven hitless innings in his major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds, 14 months after he suffered a life-threatening head injury on the mound.

Poncedeleon was hit on the right temple by a line drive while pitching for Triple-A Memphis on May 9 last year, fracturing his skull and causing bleeding in the brain. He had emergency surgery followed by months of slow recovery.

The 26-year-old was one of the top pitchers in the Pacific Coast League when St. Louis called him up to help its injury-depleted rotation.

Poncedeleon walked three and struck out three, using 116 pitches. He was pinch-hit for to begin the eighth inning.

Catcher Yadier Molina's single in the sixth inning gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

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