ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington decided not to move Justin Smoak into the leadoff spot on Sunday, one day after his first baseman stole the first base of his professional career. "We don't want him hurting himself trying to steal bags," Washington joked, "We don't want him to pull a muscle." Smoak stole a base in the second inning of the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Royals. He might have benefited from catcher Jason Kendall fumbling the pitch and not being able to get off a throw.
"They gave me the hit-and-run sign," Smoak said. "I had to look at [first base coach] Gary Pettis to make sure I was going. He said, 'Yeah, go.' I took off and got lucky he bobbled it." It was the first stolen base of Smoak's professional career. Also his first official attempt. He was 2-for-6 during his three years at the University of South Carolina.