Wheeling native and former West Virginia ace Michael Grove made his season debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday night. Grove’s first start of the year was going well through four innings, but ended abruptly in the fifth.

The WVU product struck out the side in the second inning. One strikeout caused the Colorado Rockies hitter to lose grip of his bat, which flew out of his hands and landed behind home plate.

Grove also recorded a pair of strikeouts with an improved breaking pitch that he worked on over the offseason. The Dodgers’ lead play-by-play broadcaster Joe Davis noted that LA pitching coach Mark Prior refers to the pitch as “The Mountaineer.”

Grove needed just eight pitches to get through the third. Continuing to mix pitches well in the fourth inning, he had retired 11 straight hitters after giving up an infield single in the first.

That streak came to an end in the fifth. After issuing back-to-back walks, the Rockies got just their second hit of the night off Grove. The hit, however, was an RBI double, which prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to pull the young pitcher from the game with LA in front 2-1.

The line on Grove closed one batter later. The former Mountaineer was responsible for three runs on two hits and two walks. He also struck out four hitters. Grove threw 62 percent of his pitches for strikes.

His lineup got him off the hook in the bottom of the inning, and Grove was handed a no-decision.

The former Mountaineer has now made eight appearances and seven starts at the major league level. His big league pitching record remains 1-0.