Whatever the Houston Astros are paying Tony Sipp, they might want to give him a bonus after his uniquely busy week.
Sipp made headlines last Monday night when manager Bo Porter pulled a rare move by sending the pitcher to the outfield in the middle of his relief appearance, only to bring him back to the mound just one batter later.
Porter and Sipp were at it again on Sunday during a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sipp’s latest feat, however, was accomplished in Houston, an American League ballpark, making it a bit more confusing than his last double appearance, which occurred at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ National League stadium.
Sipp came on in the top of the eighth inning and got left-handed batter Kevin Kiermaier to hit into a fielder’s choice. He then was relieved by right-hander Josh Zeid, who came on to face Evan Longoria as Sipp went to left field.
American League rules, however, state that if a pitcher is moved to a defensive position, his team loses the designated hitter, meaning that Sipp replaced Astros slugger Chris Carter in the No. 5 spot in the lineup.
The ploy worked, as Zeid struck out Longoria to end the inning and spared Sipp the chance to make a play in the field.
“I’m just glad it worked out,” Sipp said after the game, via MLB.com. “If (Longoria) had put it in play, we have yet to see that happens in that situation. I’m pretty sure I can go out there and field the routine ones, and anything after that just go out there and pray for the best.”
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