Moreland makes first start in right field

Moreland makes first start in right field

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers brought Mitch Moreland to the Major Leagues to be their first baseman.

Moreland played both first base and right field at Triple-A Oklahoma City, but the Rangers needed a first baseman and originally they didn't see much need for Moreland to continue working in the outfield.

That has changed. Moreland made his first start in right field against the Red Sox on Sunday. The Rangers were without Nelson Cruz, who is sidelined with a tight left hamstring, and manager Ron Washington wanted to give Vladimir Guerrero a day off against the intense Sunday afternoon heat.

"With this heat, no doubt about it," Washington said. "It was planned and I wanted to give [Josh] Hamilton a day off the field."

Hamilton was at designated hitter, so Moreland was in right field. He was a late-inning substitution there on Aug. 1 in his only Major League appearance in the outfield, but played there significantly at Triple-A before being called up.

"I played a lot of first and I played a lot of right field," Moreland said. "I played more right field. I feel good either place. There is no one place I'd rather play."

He just likes being in the big leagues, and so far he has handled it well. He went into Sunday's game hitting .303 with one home run and five RBIs in 11 games. His first home run came on Friday night, a two-run shot that helped the Rangers overcome the Red Sox's six-run lead and go on to a 10-9 victory. Bullpen catcher Josh Frasier retrieved the baseball from a fan in the right-field bleachers.

"He might have traded a couple of bullpen baseballs for it," Moreland said. "It was a pretty easy trade."