Surprise summons: OF Hoying takes mound

Outfielder pitches for first time since high school; Texas turns to position player for second time in less than week

Surprise summons: OF Hoying takes mound

ARLINGTON -- For the second time in less than a week, the Rangers had to go to a position player on the mound to finish the game.

Outfielder Jared Hoying got the call on Thursday night, pitching the ninth inning in the Rangers' 10-1 loss to the Twins at Globe Life Park. Hoying faced four batters, giving up a home run to Kennys Vargas.

"There are some arms we need to protect in the bullpen," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We can't go 4-5 innings out of the bullpen every night."

Hoying was on the mound for the first time since high school in Fort Loramie, Ohio.

"I didn't pitch much at all then, maybe 2-3 times," Hoying said. "I can't say this is something I expected."

Hoying didn't extend himself, throwing almost everything between 59-62 mph. The scoreboard said Hoying was throwing a knuckleball, but that wasn't the case. That's the default pitch for something as slow as what Hoying was showing.

"Just a super-slow ball," Hoying said. "I was just trying to lob it up there and throw it down the middle."

Hoying first retired Eduardo Escobar on a liner to Ryan Rua at first base before getting Max Kepler to pop up to shortstop Elvis Andrus. Vargas then homered before Eddie Rosario grounded out to short.

Hoying was told in the eighth inning that he might have to pitch.

"I had to ask where the bullpen was," Hoying said. "I didn't know how to get to the bullpen through the tunnel. [Bullpen coach Brad Holman] said to throw strikes and keep it under hitting speed."

Bryan Holaday was used last Saturday in a 17-5 loss to the Twins, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He was unavailable on Thursday, having been put on the disabled list Wednesday with a bruised left thumb.

Holaday gets an out in relief

This was the 13th time in club history the Rangers have used a position player on the mound. It's also the third time the Rangers have needed to use a position player as a pitcher more than once in a season. Adam Rosales made two appearances last season, and Mitch Moreland, Chris Gimenez and J.P. Arencibia pitched in a game in 2014.

But all those appearances came at least one month apart. This is the first time the Rangers have had to use a position player twice in less than a week.

"It was quirky," Hoying said. "You never want to do that, because it means we're losing, but you go out there, save somebody's arm and move on to the next day."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.