MIAMI — Ed Lucas’ dream of reaching the major leagues after a near 10-year career in the minors became a reality Wednesday.
On Thursday night, Lucas said that dream became “official.”
Lucas played shortstop and had his first career at-bat in the final inning of the Miami Marlins’ 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
“It’s a great milestone for myself, my career and my family, hopefully there’s a lot more milestones,” the 31-year-old Lucas said. “It was pretty amazing, especially exciting because we were in a critical part of the game for a while. They put up a couple in the ninth, but I was excited to be part of it there.
“But it was really a dream come true. I’m glad the guys gave me a chance to get in there, and I hope I get more opportunities.”
With Miami trailing 3-2 to start the ninth, Lucas entered the game at shortstop for Adeiny Hechavarria, who had been pinched hit for in the eighth.
“They were thinking of pinch hitting for Hech, so if he came out of the game, I was going to have to go in and play shortstop,” Lucas said. “I was made aware of the situation. I was sitting there hoping we would get to that point and I could get in there.”
Lucas entered and made a nice defensive play when he ran in and fielded Ryan Roberts’ slow chopper over the mound. He then threw a strike to first for the out.
“I was a little bit nervous prior to that, because you always want to get the first ground ball out of the way,“ he said. “The ball was down a bit, but it’s baseball like anywhere else.”
Lucas led off the ninth batting against Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney. The result was a slow grounder to the pitcher on a 1-2 pitch.
“Definitely not a normal at-bat,” he said. “A pretty filthy pitcher there. I wish I would have a better at-bat, get on base and give us a chance. But I’ll take it for now I guess.”