ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Jurickson Profar #13 of the Texas Rangers celebrates his walk off homerun with Leonys Martin #2 against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 26, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jurickson Profar nearly didn't even get a chance to bat in Thursday's series opener against the Los Angeles Angels at a point when every game from here on out is a must-win for the Texas Rangers, who are chasing a playoff spot with three games to play.
Lance Berkman, the veteran DH who hasn't seen much action since July, was in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit for Adam Rosales, who had earlier pinch-ran for Jeff Baker, who had pinch-hit for David Murphy.
That was in the bottom of the eighth inning with Craig Gentry up to bat, and the red-hot Gentry struck out to end the inning. Bummer, right?
Berkman never made his way to the plate, and in the next inning, Rangers manager Ron Washington went with the on-base pick in Profar instead of the home run possibility in Berkman, just to get something started in what was a 5-5 tie.
"He did the exact opposite of what I wanted him to," Washington told reporters of Profar, with his clever smile.
Profar sent the first pitch of the inning soaring over the right-field wall to end the game in a 6-5 Rangers win — the fourth straight meeting between the teams in Arlington that ended in a walk-off homer for the Rangers.
Profar was showered with beer in the clubhouse, but it was all good, according to winning pitcher Joe Nathan.
"Well, he didn't drink any," Nathan told The Dallas Morning News. "He just wore it. Clothes aren't underage."