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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Daniel Norris (32) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had been saying when the moment came to give recent young call-ups like Daniel Norris their first taste of life in Major League Baseball, he would prefer it to be as low-key as possible.

When that moment came for Norris here on Friday night, there were 35,000 fans screaming from the stands at Fenway Park, one of baseball's most iconic settings, with David Ortiz, only one of the game's most feared hitters, making his way into the batter's box for the Boston Red Sox.

There were two out in the seventh inning and Boston had a runner at second base with the Blue Jays holding a nervous 4-3 lead at the time.

If this is Gibbons' idea of serenity he would have made an excellent air traffic controller.

And when Gibbons handed the nervous rookie the ball on the mound, what words of advice did he impart to the 21-year-old?

"He said let me see you smile and I did," Norris recalled on Saturday.

In spite of the large stakes, Norris aced his big league debut, striking out Ortiz who went down looking as a nifty curveball from the Toronto pitcher froze him like a statute.

Norris was asked if the chatty Boston slugger had anything to say to him while he was in the batter's box? "No," Norris said. "He just looks like a monster up there."

Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the outcome was not as favorable for them as the Red Sox charged back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning off Toronto closer Casey Janssen to earn a wild 9-8 win in the first game of a three-game series.

Norris, who was among the September minor league call-ups that the Blue Jays made earlier in the week, had been waiting anxiously for several days for Gibbons to call upon him.

And he said he kind of had a premonition that it might come against Ortiz and the Red Sox.

"For the previous three days I've been envisioning facing him," Norris said. "It's kind of weird that it ended up that way. I was thinking about the way I'd throw him and stuff. Sure enough I get the call [in the bullpen] saying, be ready for Ortiz."

Why Ortiz?

"I really don't know," Norris said. "I don't have an answer. I was just kind of, he's one of the best hitters in the game so it was just kind of like I want to face him. Sure enough I got to."

It was the only batter Norris, considered one of Toronto bright young pitching prospects, would face in the game.

"It's something I'll never forget," Norris said. "It's something that's with me forever, one of those memories that will always be back there."

As for the strikeout ball, Norris said it was given to him after the magic moment.

"Maybe I'll get him [Ortiz] to sign it," Norris quipped.