Rangers bring up Duran for MLB debut after Smith’s big start

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers called up infielder Ezequiel Duran for his major league debut Saturday after he had never played above the Double-A level.

Duran batted seventh and played third base for the Rangers against Seattle in place of Josh Smith, another rookie who made his big league debut Monday. Smith was placed on the 10-day injured list with an left shoulder sprain.

Smith got hurt in the eighth inning of the series opener against the Mariners on Friday when diving for a ball in the infield. Smith, who reached base safely 10 times in his five games, had an MRI on Saturday.

In the clubhouse before Saturday’s game, Smith said he landed awkwardly on his shoulder on the turf. He felt soreness only after getting up and making the throw.

“I didn’t feel anything pop or anything like that, so I guess that’s good,” Smith said.

The Rangers got Duran, Smith and right-hander Glenn Otto, their starting pitcher Saturday, from the Yankees in a trade last July that sent slugger Joey Gallo to New York.

Duran, who was on the 40-man roster, got the call-up Saturday from Double-A Frisco, where he hit .317 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 45 games this season.

The Rangers brought up Smith from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday after Brad Miller went on the injured list with a right hip impingement.

Smith reached base safely in 10 of his 17 plate appearances, matching the Rangers club record for most times on base by a player in his first five career games. He was 1 for 3 with a walk on Friday night, when he hit in the leadoff spot for the second time.

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