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Fernando Rodney Leaves Game Early To Become U.S. Citizen!!

7/16/2018 12:20 PM PDT

MLB's Fernando Rodney Leaves Game Early To Become U.S. Citizen

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Twins pitcher Fernando Rodney had a pretty good excuse to make it a half-day at work Sunday ... 'cause dude had to bail mid-game to become a U.S. citizen!!

The story's awesome ... the Minnesota closer -- who locks down the ninth inning on the reg for the MLB squad -- had to leave Target Field only two hours after the first pitch to catch a flight for an immigration hearing Monday morning in Miami.

Sooo ... Twins manager Paul Molitor put him into the 5th inning to get 2 outs against the Tampa Bay Rays ... and then let him off to the airport.

Minnesota went on to win after Rodney pitched a perfect two-thirds of an inning ... and then Fernando scored a perfect hearing this morning.

"Today I fly the American Flag but in my heart always hold my Dominican Flag," Rodney wrote on social media.

"I want to thank all those who have been with me throughout the process and especially thank the @twins organizations for allowing me to catch my flight."

"Big thanks to the @tigers who made this dream possible 19 years ago."

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