June 10 (UPI) — Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor pulled off a rare straight steal of home plate in the Rangers’ 9-8 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Down 8-5 in the eighth inning on Sunday, Odor stood on third base and noticed Oakland reliever Ryan Buchter wasn’t paying attention. The veteran second baseman broke for home plate and slid in with ease.
“I was going to go [on the] first pitch, but I wasn’t sure,” Odor said. “So I took a couple of steps home to see how he’d react, but he didn’t even know I was doing that. On the [third] pitch, I was doing the same and when I did my first couple of steps I just put my head down and kept going.”
Odor’s steal home was the 33rd in Rangers history, according to MLB.com. Sunday was the first time a Rangers player did it since teammate Elvis Andrus accomplished the feat on Sept. 1, 2015.
Odor entered play hitting .165, the lowest batting average among all Major League qualifiers. He went 3-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and his fifth stolen base of the year.
The big day raised his overall batting average to .177 on the season.
“That was a big game for him,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
Texas fell to 34-30 with the loss. The Rangers have a one-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the American League’s second Wild Card spot.