ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Brad Bergesen earned his first win of the season by tossing his first career shutout and fourth complete game.
Escaping that jam in the first inning propelled him in the right direction.
"It was a really good feeling," he said. "To have those couple pitches go your way or to be able to make those crucial pitches, especially early on and getting out of a couple jams, it is a huge momentum shift that goes in your favor. And to be able to put up zeroes after we score, it's just the little things that make the difference."
Bergesen said the Longoria double play was "huge."
"It happened in the first inning, but that was probably the biggest, most crucial play in the entire game," he said. "We go out and we score the run and my job is I've got to go out there and put up a zero and stop them right there just to keep the momentum in our favor. I was very fortunate to have him roll over on that and turn it into a double play."
Bergesen had lost his first four decisions before getting that elusive first win.
"It feels good, but I know I've said it a lot - the wins and losses, we can't control that," he said. "Our job is just to go out there and keep us in a ballgame and go as deep as we can."
Bergesen got stronger as the game went along. He didn't allow a hit after the third inning.
"You find yourself getting on that roll," he said. "I've really got to credit Foxy (Jake Fox), too. We got on the same page and I felt like he called a really good game. I was comfortable out there throwing to him."
The best start of his career?
"It's tough to say," Bergesen replied, "but it's definitely up there."
The timing couldn't have been better with Brian Matusz and Alfredo Simon expected to be activated later this month. It's no secret that Bergesen's job is in jeopardy and his back's against the wall.
"Every start I feel that way, whether it's the situation it is now or last year. You're always feeling like you're going out there and you're having to pitch to keep your job," Bergesen said. "With them coming back, those are things I can't control. All I can do is go out there and work as hard as I can and go from there."
Bergesen has the game ball, but not for long.
"I'm sure the ball will be on the way to Mom's house here pretty soon," he said.