SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -Rico Washington celebrated making the St. Louis Cardinals opening-day roster by hitting a home run in the Cardinals' 10-3 loss to Double-A Springfield on Saturday.
Washington, who played for Springfield and Triple-A Memphis last year, was told before the game by manager Tony La Russa that he'd made the team.
``I'm breathless right now. It hasn't sunk in. Words can't describe how it feels right now. After 10 years in the minors, I'm going to the big leagues,'' Washington said.
A 29-year-old career minor leaguer, Washington got the slot that would likely have gone to infielder Brendan Ryan, who will start the season on the disabled list because of a rib cage injury.
Washington is an infielder who mostly played third base in the minors. He has played in 1,134 minor league games, and hit a combined .279 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 79 games last year during an injury-plagued season at Springfield and Memphis.
``He caught balls in different positions. He had good at-bats and makes a positive contribution,'' La Russa said. ``We have flexibility with him. We have options.''
Washington's fifth-inning solo homer sailed into the St. Louis bullpen behind left field as fans cheered one of their favorites from last season.
``I was fortunate to hit it. It topped off my day and I wanted to leave Springfield with a home run,'' he said.
Washington was greeted in the dugout with high-fives from La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols.

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Pirates Pick Can the Pittsburgh Pirates complete a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers when they meet this afternoon at 12:35PM ET?
Thumbnail McCutchen-Kershaw battle wraps up weekend The wait is over, Pittsburgh fans. Andrew McCutchen has officially rediscovered his MVP form.
Thumbnail Giants' Cueto goes for greatness vs. Phils A rare Madison Bumgarner misstep ended up costing the Giants last night’s contest vs. the Phillies. Can the hosts recover in time for this afternoon’s...
Thumbnail Cards task Garcia with saving series in Seattle While the Cardinals still have interleague action with which to contend in the week ahead, at least they’re on the verge of completing a disastrous...
Thumbnail Athletics vs. Angels Pick The Los Angeles Angels hope to avoid being swept at home by the Oakland Athletics when they meet today at 3:35PM ET.
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages