The Orioles open a two-game series against the San Diego Padres tonight at Petco Park -- the first stop on a three-city, eight-game interleague road trip through the National League West.
They arrived here in San Diego early Monday evening after their cross-country flight to Southern California was delayed twice due to the weather.
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Danny Valencia did not make the trip with the team. Brian Roberts will be back from the paternity list today and Valencia will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
Speaking of Valencia, among all the negative attention baseball received yesterday because of the Biogenesis scandal, Valencia -- whose name was reportedly on lists from the Miami-area anti-aging clinic -- was cleared by the commissioner’s office.
On his first day in spring training, Valencia denied any involvement. He looked into reporters’ eyes and vehemently said he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs and never will. He said he has never met Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch and was surprised that his name was connected.
I remember on that day asking Valencia about how this all affected him, especially with him being a player fighting for a roster spot in a new organization. Unlike Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta, he didn’t have a job yet. He was still fighting for one. He talked about how he was dumbfounded by how he could be linked, about how the situation unfairly made him worry about what his new teammates and management thought of him.
So as much as Rodriguez told a flood of reporters how much the past seven months had been a nightmare for him, it was likely just as bad -- if not worse -- for Valencia.
So just as much as we had to write about Valencia allegedly being involved in Biogenesis, we should make sure he’s mentioned now that he’s been cleared.
Back to baseball, Bud Norris will make his second Orioles start tonight against the Padres, a team with which he’s familiar from pitching for the Houston Astros in the National League.
He’s 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in four career starts against San Diego, and he’s 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts at Petco Park. He hasn’t pitched against the Padres since June 2, 2011, when he allowed four runs and six hits over six innings in a 7-4 Houston win at Petco Park.
The Orioles haven’t played in San Diego since 2010, when they lost two of three games. They won their first series here, taking two of three in 2007.