Rangers-White

Texas Rangers center fielder Eli White leaps to the top of the wall to catch a flyout by Tampa Bay Rays’ Ji-Man Choi on Monday night.

ARLINGTON (AP) — Versatile infielder/outfielder Brad Miller was put on the 10-day injured list Monday by the Texas Rangers, who called up Josh Smith from Triple-A Round Rock to make his big league debut.

Miller was put on the IL with right hip impingement. He was removed from Sunday’s game at Oakland with tightness in his hip in the fifth inning. He hit his seventh homer earlier in the game, and his batting .228 with 23 RBIs in 41 games.

Texas also recalled outfielder Zach Reks from Round Rock. Hard-throwing right-hander reliever Albert Abreu was designated for assignment.

Smith and Reks were both in the starting lineup for the Rangers on Monday night in the opener of a four-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Texas acquired Smith from the Yankees in the six-player trade last July that sent slugger Joey Gallo to New York. Smith was a second-round pick by the Yankees out of LSU in the 2019 amateur draft, and went into this season rated as one of the top 10 prospects for the Rangers.

Smith hit .273 with four homers, eight doubles, two triples and 29 RBIs in 40 games at Round Rock. He has started 17 games at third base, 14 at shortstop and nine at center field.

Reks hit .286 with three RBIs in six games in an earlier stint with the Rangers this season. In his nine games for Round Rock before his recall, Reks hit .417 with five homers and 11 RBIs.

Rangers center fielder Eli White made a spectacular leaping catch to take away a three-run homer from Ji-Man Choi in the first inning, and he later hit a long home run as the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-5 Monday.

“It’s like he just kept going up,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “I thought he jumped up too early, and he just kept rising.”

White said he initially wasn’t sure if he could even make the catch. He just jumped as high as he could at the wall.

After White sprinted to the warning track and jumped, his upper body was well above the 6-foot wall fronting the Rays bullpen in left-center. His left arm was fully extended above his head when he made the grab more than 400 feet from home plate.

“That was definitely the best play I’ve ever made,” said White, primarily a middle infielder for much of his early time in the minors. “It was the kind of play I’ve been dreaming about making ever since I’ve made the transition to outfield.”

Glenn Otto (3-2), the rookie right-hander who had walked and hit a batter with a pitch before that, lifted his glove to salute his teammate. Choi even smiled about it.

“If there was any sign that the night wasn’t going to go our way, maybe that should have been it,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Ji-Man got a lot of that baseball.”

Otto said he had never seen or been part of anything like that, calling White “one of the most athletic guys I’ve been around ... might be Spiderman.”

The Rangers (23-24 on the season) were to play Tuesday night after the print deadline for this edition of the News Herald, and they play tonight at 7:05 p.m. again against Tampa. Thursday’s game is a daytime start, a 1 p.m. first pitch with Taylor Hearn getting the start on the mound for the Rangers against Tampa’s Corey Kluber.

On Friday, the Seattle Mariners come to town, another 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

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Sports editor

Mitch Lucas is the sports editor for the Kilgore News Herald, and has been since June 1, 2002.

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