CLEVELAND (AP) — Jurickson Profar took his major league debut in stride. To the highly touted 19-year-old for the Texas Rangers, he was just playing another game of baseball with a new group of teammates.
Profar hit a home run in his first at-bat and doubled the next time up Sunday as Texas thumped the Cleveland Indians 8-3.
"I guess it's a pretty big thing," a smiling Profar said, his hair and neck covered in shaving cream from a celebratory "pie" administered by teammate Elvis Andrus.
"I was just a little bit nervous, but I'm with a lot of great players, so I just went out and played," he said.
Profar was a late substitute after second baseman Ian Kinsler was scratched with a stiff back. Profar opened the third inning with a drive over the right-field wall, connecting on a 2-1 pitch from Zach McAllister (5-6)
"I was thinking, 'Go, go, go, go,' after I hit it," said Profar, who got the souvenir ball back.
Profar doubled in his next at-bat, then was late to hit in the fifth. With Luis Martinez on first with a single, Profar wasn't even in the on-deck circle. Suddenly, he grabbed a bat, ran to the plate and flied out on the second pitch.
"Mother Nature called," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He got a couple hits and maybe his stomach realized what was happening."
Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy all hit solo home runs in the Texas fifth.
Derek Holland (10-6) gave up two runs over seven innings as the AL West-leading Rangers took two of three in the series. Texas matched its best record through 133 games, having also gone 79-54 in 1999.
"Texas is probably the best team in baseball, period," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "The guy hitting ninth today (Profar) could be in the middle of the order for most teams. And how do you get the ball through the infield with the guys they have playing there? They should go very deep, if not back to the World Series, again this year."
Cleveland dropped to 6-29 since July 27.
Profar went 2 for 4 as the first player born in 1993 to play in the majors. He became the youngest major leaguer to hit a homer since current teammate Adrian Beltre did it in 1998 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, also at age 19.
"It was a special day for a special kid," Washington said. "This kid is blessed. He's got a bright future, but let's not put him in the Hall of Fame yet."
He's already in the Rangers' record book as the first player to homer his first time up in a Texas uniform. The last player to do it in franchise history was Brant Alyea for the Washington Senators in 1965. The Senators moved to Texas in 1972.