CLEVELAND – Jurickson Profar couldn’t have scripted his major league debut any better.
He homered in his first career at-bat, becoming the first player in a Texas Rangers uniform to do that. He doubled in his second at-bat, and was the star of the Rangers’ 8-3 victory over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Profar led off the third inning with a solo shot off Indians starter Zach McAllister. He sent a 2-1 fastball into the right-field seats, sparking a four-run inning for the Rangers.
The Indians cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but the Rangers broke it open with three solo homers in the fifth.
Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre had back-to-back solo shots to start the inning, and David Murphy also went deep.
The Rangers cushioned their lead with a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Michael Young.
Texas starter Derek Holland won his third consecutive start, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts over seven innings. He retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
But the story of the day was Profar, who wasn’t in manager Ron Washington’s original lineup. Ian Kinsler was a late scratch because of lower back stiffness, which allowed Profar to start and make history by homering in his first career at-bat.
Among the more notable stats:
* Profar, 19, is only the third teenager in history to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, joining Whitey Lockman (1945) and Ted Tappe (1950), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* Profar is the first player to homer in his first at-bat while wearing a Rangers uniform. Rusty Greer and Ruben Sierra each homered in their second at-bats with Texas. The only other player with that feat in franchise history is Brant Alyea, who did it back when the Rangers were the Washington Senators. Alyea homered against the California Angels on Sept. 12, 1965.
* Profar is the youngest position player in franchise history so, by default, he is now the youngest to homer.
* Profar is the third rookie to homer in his first at-bat this season, joining the Pirates’ Starling Marte and the Padres’ Eddy Rodriguez.
* At 19 years, 195 days, Profar became the youngest player to hit a home run in the majors since Adrian Beltre homered with the Dodgers on Sept. 25, 1998 at 19 years, 171 days.
-- Drew Davison