Goins gets two hits in debut close to Texas home
HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays opening game in Houston on Friday is one they'd like to forget, but the same can't be said for their newest infielder, Ryan Goins.
Goins made his Major League debut in the 12-4 loss, and while most of his team struggled, the 25-year-old turned in a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. He grew up in Round Rock, Texas -- a three-hour drive from Houston -- and he had more than 20 family members in attendance for his debut.
The first hit came in the seventh inning on a single to center, and he quickly followed up with a double in the ninth to cap a memorable night at Minute Maid Park.
"It was good to just get the first one out of the way in the first game," Goins said. "In my first at-bats, I felt good, and then finally getting a hit in the third one felt great.
"The first couple of pitches, you get a little excited, a little jumpy, and then you settle in after your first at-bat, I think."
The 25-year-old hit out of the ninth spot and got the start at second base, where he'll receive some time when Munenori Kawasaki needs a day off. The only downside of his debut is that he didn't get to touch the ball on defense, as no grounders headed his way.
Goins almost had an opportunity in fifth inning, when shortstop Jose Reyes fielded a tailor-made double play. But instead of handing the ball off to Goins, Reyes touched the bag on his own before throwing to first base.
Manager John Gibbons lifted Reyes in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting Kawasaki at second base and shifting Goins to shortstop.
"I was waiting for the first one, I was just waiting," Goins said with a laugh. "I thought Jose was going to flip me the double-play ball, and he took it himself. I was like, 'I need to get the ball at some point.'"
Goins received a promotion from Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday morning, when starting second baseman Maicer Izturis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle. Izturis has since started using a walking boot and is expected to miss a significant period of time, possibly the rest of the season.
That has opened the door for Goins, who will serve as a utility infielder. Goins hit .257 with 29 extra-base hits and a .311 on-base percentage in 111 games with the Bisons this season.
"[It was fun] just having a lot of family in town, a lot of people drove up, a lot of people I played with before," Goins said. "It was good to have everybody come to the game and made me feel comfortable out there."