Stairs earns spot on Nationals roster

Posted March 31, 2011, at 9:39 p.m.

Bangor resident Matt Stairs began his 19th major league season Thursday playing for his 12th different organization, the Washington Nationals.

Stairs, 43, signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals last December and survived the final cut to earn a spot on the team’s 25-man roster for its season opener against the Atlanta Braves in Washington.

Stairs, a first baseman-outfielder whose role with the Nationals will be largely as a pinch-hitter, did not play Thursday as Atlanta edged Washington 2-0.

Stairs began his major league career in 1992 with the same organization, then the Montreal Expos.

Since then he has played for Boston, Oakland, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Toronto, Texas, Detroit, Philadelphia and San Diego.

Stairs is a career .264 hitter with 265 home runs in 1,839 games.

He batted .232 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 78 games for San Diego last year and tied for the major league lead with four pinch-hit home runs.

Stairs also set a major-league record for career pinch home runs, hitting his 21st last Aug. 22 off Milwaukee’s Kameron Loe.

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