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Solarte gets first Major League start

Solarte gets first Major League start

HOUSTON -- Yangervis Solarte was getting some early work in the batting cages on Thursday when he was told that his name was going into the lineup, batting ninth and playing third base.

Solarte was thrilled to make his Major League debut in the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Astros on Wednesday, going 0-for-2, and even more excited to get his first big league starting assignment.

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Solarte wasted no time, connecting for a single off Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer in his first at-bat, and going on to have a 3-for-3 performance.

Before Thursday's game, Solarte carried a copy of the lineup card around the visitors' clubhouse at Minute Maid Park, requesting signatures from each member of the team.

"I'm happy for that opportunity," Solarte said. "I've been waiting for that for a long time, to be at the plate my first game, and the one that I'm starting. I'm really, really happy."

Solarte, 26, was born in Venezuela and played six seasons in the Twins organization beginning in 2006 before latching on with the Rangers, and he played 263 games over the past two seasons with Texas' Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.

Solarte's wife, Juliet, is in New York and just purchased a MLB.TV package to watch the Yankees' games. His family and friends were able to see his first two at-bats on Wednesday and will surely be watching on Thursday.

"Everybody yesterday saw the TV. They were like, 'Whoa!'" Solarte said. "They were happy. The first time in the big leagues with the Yankees. Wow."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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