Small, a 33-year old right-hander, has had short stays in the majors over the last nine years—most recently in 2004, when he made seven relief appearances and posted an 8.27 ERA for Florida. He hasn’t started a game since 1996, when went 1-3 with an 8.16 ERA in three starts for Oakland.
Overall, Small is 15-10 with a 5.49 ERA over parts of seven major league seasons. He was 1-4 with a 4.96 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A Columbus before getting the call for Wednesday’s start in Texas.
“A couple of times, I was getting ready to (come up to the major leagues), but something always seemed to change,” said Small. “It’s been a roller coaster.”
Due to injuries to starters Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, rookie Chien-Ming Wang and Kevin Brown, who was activated from the disabled list for the series opener, New York has been forced to start the likes of Darrell May, Tim Redding, prospect Sean Henn and reliever Tanyon Sturtze.
New York suffered a 2-1 loss to Texas on Tuesday, dropping to 11-3 in its last 14 games. The Yankees slipped a half-game behind first-place Boston in the AL East, one day after taking sole possession of the top spot for the first time since a season-opening victory over the Red Sox.
The Rangers had lost four of their previous five games, including consecutive one-run defeats, but Hank Blalock’s two-out, two-run homer off reliever Wayne Franklin in the eighth gave the Rangers the victory.
“It was a breaking ball, I just reacted to it and hit it,” Blalock said. “Off my bat, I was glad I could drive the tying run in. Then it bounced off the top of the fence.”
Joaquin Benoit will make his first start of the season for Texas on Wednesday.
After posting an 0.69 ERA in 26 innings of relief, Benoit will be back in the rotation. He is 12-15 with a 4.55 ERA in 46 career starts.
Benoit pitched 4 1-3 shutout innings of relief in Friday’s 7-4 loss at Oakland.