Mazara Flashes Brilliance With Bat, Arm Against Blue Jays

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After one of the best Aprils ever by a Rangers’ rookie, Nomar Mazara is off to a pretty decent May.

Game-winning homer, punctuated by a game-saving throw? Yeah, not bad.

In other words, Shin-Soo Choo and Josh Hamilton can take their sweet time with their rehabs because Mazara isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Except up.

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Mazara, who turned 21 last week, dominated a game Monday night in Toronto even though it featured a dramatic rematch between bat-flippin’ Jose Bautista and Rangers’ reliever Sam Dyson. The 8th inning proved another glimpse of Texas’ bright future.

Mazara broke a 1-1 tie with a homer to center field. In the bottom of the inning the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out. Troy Tulowitzki lifted a fly ball to medium right field near the foul line. Mazara caught the ball perfectly in stride and – after a smooth crow hop – unleashed a rope to the plate. It wasn’t perfectly on target – catcher Brett Nicholas lunged right of the plate – but good enough to nail Michael Saunders to end the inning and preserve the win.

Said Saunders of the rookie’s throw, “I’ve seen him do it before. He’s deadly when he has the ball in his hand.”

At 6-foot-4 and close to 200 pounds, Mazara has all the tools except for speed. For a month we’ve been seeing his bat. Last night we witnessed his arm.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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