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Boggs came close to providing relief

Boggs came close to providing relief

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Now pitching ... Brandon Boggs?

Yes, it's true. Boggs was warming up in the bullpen during Tuesday night's 10-1 loss, but after the outfielder tossed a few pitches off the rubber, manager Ron Washington had a change of heart and brought in Darren O'Day for the last inning. The right-hander tossed a scoreless frame.

"He was real close, but I decided to go with the pitcher instead," Washington said. "He pitched some in high school and college, so he knew what to do. I was going to give him an inning, but I decided to go with a pitcher because I had one available."

So what if Boggs had entered?

"I just told him to go in and throw fastballs, nothing else, I don't care," Washington said. "If they hit, they hit it. I just didn't want him to get hurt."

Though there is no official record of Boggs pitching during his three-year career at Georgia Tech, the 27-year-old said that he spent enough time on the mound at Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., and during his time with his AAU team in Cobb County to know what to do if his number was called.

"Yeah, I had it covered, easy," Boggs joked. "Just throw strikes, simple."

When Washington was asked why he didn't go with outfielder Mitch Moreland, who compiled a 25-2 record over three seasons at Amory (Miss.) High School, he said it was too risky.

"He knew too much, and I didn't want him to get up there and think he was a pitcher and hurt himself," Washington said.

Managers have been known to put position players on the mound when a game is either out of hand or when most of their relievers have been used. This season the Cardinals used utility man Felipe Lopez in the 18th inning of a home contest against the Mets before fellow multipurpose guy Joe Mather switched places with Lopez (from third base) in the 19th to finish the game. He ultimately took the loss by giving up a sacrifice fly.

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