ARLINGTON, Texas – For a guy who didn’t start the game for the Houston Astros, Jake Elmore sure made the most of his outing in a 16-5 loss to Houston.
Elmore started the game on the bench but took over in the bottom of the fourth inning in a 13-1 game after starting catcher Carlos Corporan left the game after taking a foul ball off his head during an 11-run inning by the Rangers in the bottom of the third.
Elmore had just one professional inning as a catcher but was forced behind the plate because the Astros didn’t want to lose their designated hitter Jason Castro, the team’s All-Star catcher.
The flawless work behind the plate must have warmed up Elmore’s arm as the Astros used him to pitch the eighth, as he became just the 14th player to catch and pitch in the same game.
Ironically, Elmore knew he was pitching before he knew he was catching.
“They told me early in the game that I was going to pitch because the game was out of hand,” said Elmore, whose lone pro catching experience was one inning in Double A in 2010. “I was expecting that, but out of nowhere (catcher Carlos Corporan) got hurt. I had told them I could catch like 2 weeks ago.”
Elmore, who also had one of the nine Astros hits, made the most of his time on the mound. He was the only Houston pitcher to not allow a run as he pitched a perfect eighth inning. He mainly threw a two-seam fastball and topped out at 92 mph on radar.
The final out Elmore recorded came on a grounder from David Murphy, who pitched a scoreless inning for the Rangers in June.
Murphy, who like Elmore has a 0.00 ERA, gave Elmore the edge in the pitching department.
“He had more sink that me,” Murphy said. “He had a little bit of sink on his fastball. He stayed below hitting speed and had fun.”