Houston Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp earned his paycheck and then some Monday night.
With his team hanging on to a 4-3 lead against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, the left-handed Sipp retired the side in the seventh inning and returned in the eighth to face lefty batter Gerardo Parra.
Sipp struck out Parra, bringing up right-handed batter Paul Goldschmidt. That’s when things got interesting.
Astros manager Bo Porter brought in righty reliever Jerome Williams to face Goldschmidt, but with left-handed catcher Miguel Montero on deck, he wanted to keep Sipp in the game. So, Porter took advantage of the National League rules and sent Sipp to right field, where the pitcher watched Goldschmidt walk before returning to the mound once again to strike out Montero.
Sipp finally was relieved by right-hander Kyle Farnsworth but not before retiring five batters in two consecutive appearances and playing a little right field in between.
Sipp’s brief stint was the first time he had played another position in his major league career, but the 30-year-old did have some experience in the outfield.
“I played that in college, Clemson. But I thought those days were behind me,” Sipp said after the game, via MLB.com. “Anything can happen coming over, playing in the National League.”
Porter’s ploy worked, as the Astros held on for the win. Well played, Bo.