TORONTO — Cade Povich stood on the top step of the visitors dugout at Rogers Centre and closed his eyes. Then he lifted his head and climbed the stairs onto the field.

This was his MLB debut, the day he has been dreaming about his whole life.

“When I ran out there, everything really came on,” he said. “I tried to take a step back and take a moment.”

It did not go entirely as planned — he gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings as the Orioles fell 6-5 to the Blue Jays — but Povich, acquired by the Orioles in 2022 in the Jorge López trade, pitched better than his final line, showing composure and calmness throughout the day.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“I was really impressed by him,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought he handled everything today outstanding. You never know what you are going to get in a debut and a tough environment against an all-right-handed, good-hitting club, and he did fantastic.”

The Orioles, down three starters already, needed to give Kyle Bradish an extra day of rest. So they turned to Povich, their No. 9 prospect, to fill that spot Thursday in the series finale against the Blue Jays. Baltimore has had a group of big-name position-player prospects debut in the last three years — from Adley Rutschman in May 2022 to Connor Norby on Monday — but Povich is just the third starting pitcher to do so in that span, joining DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez.

Povich got the news that he was being added to the taxi squad on Tuesday when he was in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with the Norfolk Tides. He immediately called his fiancée and parents. His dad had to rush to Denver to get an emergency passport to travel to Canada. Povich arrived in Toronto on Wednesday, and his 14 family members and friends arrived soon after.

Povich soon found out he would be starting Thursday. He got to work right away, showing up to his advance meeting with veteran backup catcher James McCann with full notes on how he wanted to attack the Blue Jays.

“He had done his homework. I give him a lot of credit for that,” McCann said. “He was ready with how his stuff was going to play, and he was dead on.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Hyde noted how calm Povich seemed in the clubhouse before the game. Povich, though, felt differently. He didn’t get a lot of sleep the last two nights, he said, and it was hard to eat breakfast.

When the game started, he tried to look around as much as possible to soak it all in. He also reminded himself over and over again just to breathe.

His first batter was also his first strikeout, Povich getting Davis Schneider swinging on a 92.1 mph fastball. Povich then got Danny Jansen and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to fly out to wrap up his first major league inning in nine pitches. He walked one in the second but again made it through without allowing a hit.

The third was when the difference between minor league and major league hitters became evident. Povich — whose walk rate in the minors was much improved this season — walked Ernie Clement and Jansen. That set up Guerrero, who hit a three-run homer to put the Blue Jays ahead 3-0. They were trying to go cutter in to Guerrero but ended up on the other side of the zone.

Povich allowed another run in the fourth, then ran into trouble with his command again in the sixth. He gave up a hit to Justin Turner, then a walk to Daulton Varsho on Povich’s 100th pitch to end his debut. Povich handed the ball to Dillon Tate, and both runners scored.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The Orioles had just six hits, scoring their runs on home runs from Rutschman in the sixth and eighth and a two-run pinch-hit shot by Ryan O’Hearn in the ninth.

After the game, Povich’s family and friends stood waiting just outside of the visitors clubhouse. When he finally walked through the door, they let out a loud cheer as they took turns hugging the new major league pitcher.

Baltimore has not announced its pitching plan for the upcoming series against the Rays, which could impact when, and if, Povich is given another start. Hyde said he would not hesitate to start him again.

“It’s an awesome treat,” Povich said of his debut. “It’s something I’m going to be proud of. It’s a dream come true.”