SEATTLE -- Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara had another single in his first at-bat on Tuesday but it was his defense that caught people's attention in the early innings of an 8-0 win over the Mariners.Mazara made two excellent catches in right field behind Derek Holland. The plays reinforced the possibility
SEATTLE -- Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara had another single in his first at-bat on Tuesday but it was his defense that caught people's attention in the early innings of an 8-0 win over the Mariners.
Mazara made two excellent catches in right field behind Derek Holland. The plays reinforced the possibility that Mazara might be even better than expected defensively in right field.
"What we have seen so far has been better than what had been conveyed to us," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We saw solid to average defense in Spring Training, and so far it has been above average in the outfield. We have seen the ability to read the ball off the bat, take terrific angles and run balls down. Where you make a difference in the outfield is with your footwork and his footwork has been exceptional."
The first play came in the second inning. With one on and one out, Mazara raced to his left and made a diving catch of Chris Iannetta's slicing fly ball.
"I knew I was going to get there but the ball just kept going away from me so I had to dive," Mazara said.
With one out in the third inning, Holland gave up a long drive to deep right-center to Leonys Martin. Mazara and center fielder Delino DeShields both raced to the ball and almost collided. But Mazara reached up to make a terrific running catch and take away a possible triple.
"I was just running hard," Mazara said. "I took my eye off the ball for a second to see where the ball was, and then I was able to pick up the wall again. I had good concentration so I was able to catch it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.