Former Bowling Green Hot Rods utilityman Taylor Motter made his major-league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, reaching base in his first at-bat before even taking the field.
Motter started at shortstop for the Rays and batted second against Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ. In his first plate appearance, he hit a grounder to the right side of the field and beat first baseman Justin Smoak to the bag, legging out an infield single for his first big-league hit. Two batters later, he scored when teammate Steve Pearce took Happ deep for a 2-0 lead.
Motter reached base one more time (on a walk) and scored again. He moved to rightfield after the 5th inning, and the Rays went on to win 13-2.
Motter spent the 2012 season with the Hot Rods, and also played briefly for Bowling Green in 2011. He cumulatively batted .242 with 6 HR, 40 RBI and 25 SB in 102 Midwest League games. He mainly played leftfield, third base and centerfield for the Hot Rods, but also saw time in rightfield and at second and first bases.
UPDATE: Motter entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning, and went deep for his first big-league homer. You can watch video of it here.