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Kiner-Falefa thrilled after making MLB debut

Infielder's parents take red eye from Honolulu to see his first game
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' 11-1 loss to the Angels on Tuesday will be memorable for only one player.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa made his Major League debut, playing the final two innings at second base. He also struck out against Angels reliever Eduardo Paredes to end the game, but that didn't dampen the excitement.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' 11-1 loss to the Angels on Tuesday will be memorable for only one player.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa made his Major League debut, playing the final two innings at second base. He also struck out against Angels reliever Eduardo Paredes to end the game, but that didn't dampen the excitement.

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"Playing in the big leagues, it doesn't matter what the score is," Kiner-Falefa said. "I'm playing in the big leagues and that means I will be a big leaguer for life. Now it's time to go to work and help this team win games."

Kiner-Falefa was called up from Triple-A Round Rock when second baseman Rougned Odor went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Jurickson Profar will start at second base during Odor's absence, and Kiner-Falefa will serve as the utility infielder. He can also catch as needed.

He was catching for Round Rock on Monday night against the Memphis Redbirds and drew a walk in the second inning. To his surprise, Round Rock manager Jason Wood sent in catcher Cameron Rupp to pinch-run for him.

"They didn't really say much, but I've seen it happen before," Kiner-Falefa said. "You don't really normally have a catcher enter the game, especially in the second inning. At first, I was like 'What's going on?' I didn't know what he was doing, but then he kept running to first. He was just like, 'I don't know what's going on, but something's happening.'

"So I ran off, and there's a couple of guys hugging me, we weren't sure what really happened; we just waited until the end of the game, and they told me I was going to Arlington, I was like, 'Oh!'"

His parents couldn't wait. Kiner-Falefa is from Honolulu and as soon as they heard the news, they made arrangements to take a red-eye flight to Dallas.

"I guess when I got pulled out of the game, they looked at Twitter and it was blowing up so they took a chance, and it paid off," Kiner-Falefa said. "They flew last night! Once I came out of the game, they didn't want to miss it, they'd rather just pay the money. I think they flew to L.A. and then they flew into Dallas, but for them to drop everything they were doing to come out here meant a lot. They had my back, coming up all the way, and just to have 'em here meant the world."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa