Former outfielder Jason Lane is back in Major League Baseball — but this time as a pitcher.
After making two relief appearances for the San Diego Padres in June, Lane got his first major-league start Monday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. Lane, who was called up to fill-in for the injured Ian Kennedy earlier in the day, became the ninth oldest pitcher in MLB history to make his first start.
Lane’s debut as a starter was solid — despite the Padres falling 2-0 — but the loss says more about San Diego’s offense than his pitching. The left-hander limited the Braves to just one run on six hits over six innings while going 1-for-2 at the plate.
Lane spent seven seasons in the majors with the Houston Astros (2002-07) and the Padres (2007) before reinventing himself as a pitcher. The former outfielder crushed 26 home runs with the 2005 Astros, adding three more in the postseason, but struggled to regain that form in the following seasons.
With Lane unable to solve his offensive woes, he made the move to pitching full-time prior to the 2012 season. Lane has made 19 starts for Triple-A El Paso this season, going 6-8 with a 4.67 ERA — while hitting .419 for the ballclub.