Axelrod is impressive in first major-league start

Dylan Axelrod made a good first impression in his starting debut for the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The former Santa Barbara High and SBCC pitching star, who two years ago was keeping his dream alive in the Independent League in suburban Chicago, pitched a solid six innings and left the game against the Detroit Tigers with a 5-2 lead.

The White Sox bullpen, however, couldn’t hold the lead and the Tigers rallied for a 6-5 victory.

For the 26-year-old Axelrod, all he could do was shrug his shoulders after he struck out eight and scattered six hits.

“It’s a little disappointing, but it’s baseball, you know?” he told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s not over until it’s over.”

“It’s a shame,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. “This kid’s pitching very well, and we just blew it for him. Very nice day, you see this kid having success in his first time in the big leagues and, poof, another bad day for the White Sox.’’

Axelrod demonstrated great poise after giving up a homer to Carlos Guillen to start the second inning. He struck out Wilson Betemit and retired the next seven Tigers.

“It’s nice to get individual accolades like wins and things, but it’s a team game,’’ said Axelrod told the Sun-Times. “Unfortunately, we came out on the losing end, but I was happy with what I did and just want to continue to build off that.’’

Axelrod took the start of Jake Peavy, who was shut down for the remainder of the season because of arm fatigue.

“He’s a smaller guy, but he creates a good angle to make the ball sink and cut,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski told the Chicago Tribune. “And he throws strikes and works fast, and that’s what you are looking for.”