UC Riverside baseball alum Chris Smith was promoted to the Boston Red Sox big league squad on Sunday. Smith will be wearing #59 in the Boston bullpen as the Red Sox host a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals beginning tonight.
Smith spent three years at UCR before he was taken in the third round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Amature Draft by the Red Sox. His final season was his best at UCR. In 2002 he set the school record for strikeouts in a season with 127 in 136 innings pitched. Also that year, he held opposing batters to a .249 average and produced a 2.91 ERA.
Smith had a 1.45 ERA in 10 appearances for the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox before getting called up. He was second on the team with four saves and had struckout 28 batters in 31.0 innings pitched.
He is the second former Highlander to currently be in the big leagues, joining Troy Percival who enters the week fifth in the American League in saves with 11 for the Tampa Bay Rays.