The young pitchers were up early Thursday, too, each anxious about making their major league debuts. Once they took the mound, however, both looked right at home.
Romero outpitched Porcello in the first matchup of first-round draft picks making their debuts against each other, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2 Thursday for their third win in the opening four-game series.
"Two talented young kids out there today," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They both had a couple of sessions where they looked a little green but, overall, they both did very, very well."
Detroit's Brandon Inge, who had homered in the first three games, went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Romero (1-0) was the No. 6 pick in the 2005 amateur draft out of Cal State Fullerton and was given a $2.4 million signing bonus by the Blue Jays. He spent two years at Double-A before reaching Triple-A last season, then won a spot in Toronto's rotation this spring.
"His last four or five starts [in spring training], he just seemed to get a little bit better all the time," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "Today he got up to 94 a couple times, his fastball and his changeup were good."
Projected as a top pick in 2007, Porcello dropped to No. 27 when some teams bypassed him because they anticipated tough negotiations with his agent, Scott Boras. Porcello agreed to a $7.28 million, four-year contract.
"He looked a little young at times, bounced some curveballs, but he also threw some nasty ones and got some strikeouts on them," Leyland said. "He's got some work to do, but that's something to work with."
Never before since the amateur draft began in 1965 had pitchers selected in the first round started against each other in their big league debuts.
Romero allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out five and walked two, throwing 93 pitches. The left-hander said nerves kept him awake much of the night.
"I couldn't sleep for a while," Romero said. "I kept waking up all night, just checking my clock making sure I wasn't late this morning."
Porcello, who awoke shortly before 7 a.m., gave up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings, struck out four and walked one. The righty threw 89 pitches and, like Romero, topped out at 94 mph with his fastball.
"The biggest thing coming away from today is you make a mistake and, with these guys, they're going to hurt you with a home run or a base hit," Porcello said. "You've got to be locked in on every pitch."
Surrendering Lind's leadoff homer in the sixth was Porcello's biggest regret.
"It was one of those pitches where, as soon as you let it go, you want it back," Porcello said. "It was hanging up there and I was praying he wasn't going to swing at it."
Porcello's parents and two brothers attended the game. Romero had his parents, two sisters and a brother in the crowd.
"Just being with my family, for them to be here, they got in last night, it's a special moment," Romero said. "It's a day I'll never forget."
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the third. Curtis Granderson homered with two outs and Marcus Thames followed with a triple that bounced off the wall in right and struck Alex Rios on the side of the head. Rios threw the ball back to the infield, then fell to his knees in pain. Trainer George Poulis came out to check on Rios, who overcame a bout of dizziness to remain in the game.
Thames scored on Magglio Ordonez's single.
Toronto's Michael Barrett hit an RBI single in the fourth, and the Blue Jays tied it in the fifth on Hill's second homer of the season.
Lind's leadoff homered in the sixth gave Toronto a 3-2 lead, and Jose Bautista chased Porcello with an infield single. Left-hander Nate Robertson induced Lyle Overbay to hit into a forceout and struck out Barrett, then gave up Travis Snider's RBI double. Scutaro greeted right-hander Juan Rincon with a two-run homer.
"The add-on runs were killers for us," Leyland said. "That's what we're going to have to eliminate. The add-on runs are normally a disaster for you and they were today."
- A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed Thursday in a traffic accident.
- Before the game, Leyland showed reporters the lineup card from his final game as Pittsburgh manager in 1996. The souvenir, stowed safely inside a sealed plastic bag, was a gift from umpire Ed Montague.
- Overbay snapped an 0-for-11 streak with a second-inning single.
- Detroit plays its home opener Friday, an afternoon game against Texas. "It's going to be exciting for the crowd, especially with it being a (holiday) weekend," Granderson said. "I'm sure downtown Detroit is going to be crazy. I'm looking forward to it, I've got a lot of friends and family coming in for it and they'll be enjoying it, too."