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Tocci, Rua pitch, make Rangers history

Outfielders combine for 1 2/3 perfect innings; first time Texas has used two position players to pitch
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made club history on the mound during their series-opening, 15-3 loss to the A's at Globe Life Park.

Texas used outfielders Carlos Tocci and Ryan Rua to pitch on Monday, making it the first time the Rangers have used multiple position players to pitch in a game. It was also the first time the Rangers have used a position player to pitch this season.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made club history on the mound during their series-opening, 15-3 loss to the A's at Globe Life Park.

Texas used outfielders Carlos Tocci and Ryan Rua to pitch on Monday, making it the first time the Rangers have used multiple position players to pitch in a game. It was also the first time the Rangers have used a position player to pitch this season.

View Full Game Coverage

Tocci entered the eighth inning with the Rangers trailing by 12. Reliever Alex Claudio allowed two runs in the inning and recorded just one out before being replaced by Tocci.

Given the large deficit, the Rangers wanted to save as many bullpen arms as they could.

"Obviously not the optimum, but you get to a point where you try to preserve as much as you can," manager Jeff Banister said. "Situation [where] you try to get Claudio through a fairly quick inning and get him off. The pitch count there with Claudio got to the point where we sent Tocci down to get loose. When he got loose, he was able to come in, and it's about preservation at that point."

Tocci said through a team translator that there were no nerves on the mound. In fact, he was geared up for the moment.

"Just give me the ball, you know what I'm saying, I wanted to pitch," Tocci said.

Tocci recorded the final two outs of the inning. Jonathan Lucroy hit into a fielder's choice out and Marcus Semien lined out to left. Tocci said the best advice he received from the bullpen was from reliever Jose Leclerc.

"Leclerc said, 'Go out there and see how hard you can throw,'" Tocci said.

Banister said there was already a plan in place to have Rua pitch the ninth inning. Rua, however, has prior pitching experience. He was a closer at Lake Erie College.

Video: OAK@TEX: Rua impresses by punching out Barreto

Rua pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and also struck out Franklin Barreto. His fastball even clocked in as fast as 91 mph.

"I wasn't drafted as a pitcher, so I didn't expect to ever have to pitch," Rua said. "But if it's to do it for the team and give guys a break, then you gotta do it."

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Texas Rangers, Ryan Rua, Carlos Tocci